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Visitation policy at Porter Hospital is tightened

“Although our new visitor policies and procedures are new and a significant change from our past practices, we are deeply gratified by the response from our community members and their recognition that our primary interest is to mitigate the risk of exposure and potential spread of the COVID-19 virus to other patients or our clinical staff who are working tirelessly to care for and protect our community from this virus.” —Ron Hallman

MIDDLEBURY — Porter Medical Center on March 18 implemented a more rigorous visitation police aimed at reducing the chances of patients, staff and the general public contracting the coronavirus.
All patients and visitors are required to enter the hospital through the Emergency Department.
All Patients and Visitors will be screened in the Emergency Department vestibule.
Employee Badge readers will be enabled on the following access points for Staff entry: Emergency Department, “North Entrance” (main entrance for staff entering from the North parking lot), “East Stairwell Door” near the medical office building.
There are more specific restrictions depending on which department a visitor is seeking to access:
•  Emergency Department: One visitor per patient. No visitor rotation, except for end-of-life patients.
•  Medical/Surgical Unit: No visitors for general patients. Visitors allowed for end of life patients.
•  Birthing Center: One visitor per patient. No visitor rotation.
•  Surgical Services: No visitors. Any outpatient procedures requiring rides home will be coordinated by Surgical Services. Visitors providing transportation to patients will not be allowed in the building.
•  Cardiology: One visitor/support person per visit.
•  ExpressCare: ExpressCare patients will enter via the Emergency Department entrance to be screened and directed to the ExpressCare Clinic. One visitor. No rotation.
•  Infusion Center: No visitors.
•  Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing: No visitors. Limited visitation may be granted in certain end-of-life situations.
Visitors will find a traffic-control station at the main entrance off South Street to assist people. Employees should use the north parking lot if possible, while the parking lot in front of the hospital may be used by all Porter staff for parking when the North employee parking lot is full.
Porter spokesman Ron Hallman offered the following comments about the new policy:
“Although our new visitor policies and procedures are new and a significant change from our past practices, we are deeply gratified by the response from our community members and their recognition that our primary interest is to mitigate the risk of exposure and potential spread of the COVID-19 virus to other patients or our clinical staff who are working tirelessly to care for and protect our community from this virus.”
Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.com.

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