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Action taken this by Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital in El Dorado week to respond to COVID-19 means restrictions for visitors to the facility.

“We want you to understand that this wasn’t an easy decision” wrote Jeff Egbert, interim President and CEO in an open letter to the community. “With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing significantly in our state and across our country, we are committed to doing everything in our power to protect our community.”

As of Wednesday, a very limited number of visitors will be allowed in the hospital — in some cases one “support” person will be allowed. If a patient is admitted to inpatient care from the Emergency Room, visitors will not accompany them to the main hospital.

“We absolutely value the role each family member and friend plays in the healing process of their loved one,” Egbert wrote. “However, we must protect our patients and staff by doing whatever we can as a community to help slow the spread by flattening the curve of COVID-19.”

Only one support person is allowed for labor, delivery and postpartum patients; one parent/guardian is allowed for pediatric patients; and one support person is allowed for cancer center treatments. Only one designated support person is allowed for the duration of the hospitalization. All support persons will be screened daily to meet proper criteria prior to entering. End-of-life visitation needs will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Patients coming to the Emergency Department may be accompanied by one person as needed for care. However, if the patient is admitted, the visitor will not accompany the patient to the inpatient unit.

The Emergency Department entrance is the only available point of entry to the hospital building. Hospital based outpatient services continue to be available upon physician order (examples include but not limited to lab work and x-rays). Hospital outpatients enter the facility through the Emergency Department entrance and are screened prior to continuing to the outpatient services. Outpatient rehab, cardiac rehab and cancer center entrances are still open at this time. Please contact your family practice clinic for any questions regarding those visits.

Family members of hospitalized patients may drop off essential personal items to patients between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Appropriate drop off items include phones, glasses, personal hygiene items and clothing. Essential personal items will be collected at the door and delivered to the patient by hospital staff.