ODESSA, Texas (ABC Big 2/Fox 24) – Some people can visit their loved ones in the hospital again. Odessa Regional Medical Center changed it’s no visitor policy, which has been in place for a few months during the pandemic.
“It’s hard to decide who gets to come in and who doesn’t,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rohith Saravanan
Dr. Saravana said restricting visitors has kept his staff and patients protected.
“If you have to go through the process of screening each person with a test the resources just don’t exist to do that,” Dr. Saravanan said. ” And then, the other issue is in the COVID unit, that in the COVID unit, we know how to keep people safe.”
But the hospital is now making exceptions for patients who don’t have COVID-19 by only allowing one family member. These new changes include:
- Pediatric care: ONE parent/guardian permitted
- Maternity and Labor and Delivery Units: ONE significant other/support person permitted
- Special Care Nursery: TWO parents/support persons permitted
- Medical/Surgical: One adult visitor per day.
- Telemetry: One adult visitor per day.
- CCU: One adult visitor per day.
- OBED: One adult visitor per day.
- ED: One adult visitor per day.
- Other extenuating circumstances (such as hospice and end-of-life care) will also be considered based on the best interest and needs of the individual patient. All exceptions must be approved by the care team.
“Patients that are in here and families know just like we do is that patients get better if you are with them, bed-side telling them, ‘Hey mom, I need you to get better’ and hold there hand, makes a difference and we want them to be able to do that,” said Dr. Saravanan.
Dr. Saravanan said while the changes are taking place to allow visitors again, they’re going to monitor the situation to make sure everyone is safe.
“We hope that it does not contribute to the increase the disease burden in our community because that’s one of the big things we have been worried about,” Dr. Saravanan said. “So, we hope it increases satisfaction but it doesn’t take away from safety because now the community understands what is at stake.”
Visitors who do qualify must follow all the safety guidelines ORMC has put in place. The hospital is also asking any family members who may feel sick not to come in contact with their loved ones who are being treated.