Intermountain Implements New Visitor Policy Amid Coronavirus Concerns
Mar 9, 2020, 1:18 PM | Updated: 1:18 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Intermountain hospitals have implemented new a new visitor restriction policy in an effort to prevent the possible spread of coronavirus.
There are at least 565 confirmed cases in the United States, including a one in Utah. Twenty-one people have died so far.
Health officials are ramping up precautionary measures, though they have assured the risk to the public remains low.
Intermountain’s new visitor restriction policy is modeled on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Utah Department of Health:
- Individuals who are sick should not visit or accompany a patient, and they should not enter a facility except to seek care for themselves.
- Only two visitors or companions of a patient may visit at a time, and health officials strongly discourage any visitors or companions younger than 18.
- There will be no visitors allowed to patients who have confirmed or possibly have COVID-19.
- Visitors are asked to wash their hands and use alcohol sanitizer before and after leaving a patient room, exam room and a facility.
- Visitors are asked to speak with a nurse or receptionist about expectations and special circumstances.
“The restriction is being put in place for the safety of you, our patients, caregivers and community,” according to a tweet from Intermountain.
The University of Utah Hospital is preparing to handle patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Hospital officials said that, in the event of an outbreak, patients can be screened in a negative-pressure, free-standing facility without risk of spreading the virus to other patients or staff. Additional freestanding facilities will be put up if needed.
If you’re worried about whether you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professional.
Have you or a family member been affected by coronavirus issues in Utah? KSL wants to hear from you. Contact KSL by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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How do I prevent it?
The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- If soap and water is not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC does not recommend wearing a face mask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.