UVa lightens the masking policy
More than three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Virginia Health System is easing its masking policy as cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the virus continue to decline.
UVa Health said it would also reinstate its visitation policy as it was before the pandemic began.
“Following updated guidance from UVA Health’s Infection Prevention and Control team, new masking and visiting policies will go into effect this month at UVA Medical Center and other facilities across the country. Charlottesville area, as well as UVA Health sites in Culpeper and Northern Virginia,” UVA Health said in a statement.
Effective 7 a.m. April 18, at UVa Medical Center, University Hospital, and Charlottesville-area clinical facilities, masking will be optional in all buildings and administrative locations, including research areas; in outpatient clinics and outpatient imaging settings; at the Orthopedic Center on Ivy Road; in outpatient surgery centers; and at the West Complex on Jefferson Park Avenue, except for the Transplant and Surgical Clinic and Dialysis Center shared space.
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Masks will remain mandatory at the university hospital, emergency department, transplant clinics, cancer clinics, infusion center and dialysis centers.
With respect to visitation, “University Hospital UVA Medical Center will revert to the visitation policy in place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the health system said, adding two important remarks:
- For hospitalized patients: UVa Health will not restrict, limit or deny visiting privileges unless the visit is medically or therapeutically disruptive or adversely affects the rights or safety of the patient, or the rights or safety of others. Only one person can stay overnight and must be 18 or older; pediatric patients may have two visitors overnight. Visits may be restricted for other reasons, such as infection control issues or privacy concerns.
- For patients with COVID-19: Two visitors are allowed at the bedside at a time from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. A designated visitor is permitted at the bedside overnight for pediatric patients and for adult patients with disabilities or other special needs who require a family caregiver at the bedside. The number of visits by the designated visitor should be limited to the minimum necessary to assist in the care of the patient.
The health system added that there will be some differences in masking policies at Charlottesville Hospital compared to other UVa Health sites.
Effective Monday, in Culpeper and Northern Virginia, the health system said masking would be optional at UVa Health Culpeper Medical Center, UVa Health Haymarket Medical Center, UVa Health Prince William Medical Center; outpatient clinics and imaging facilities; ambulatory surgery centers; and UVa Health Caton Merchant House.
Masking will remain mandatory in cancer clinics, dialysis clinics, infusion centers and neonatal intensive care units outside of the Charlottesville area, the health system said.
Visits to Culpeper and Northern Virginia will also be handled differently:
UVA Health hospitals in Culpeper and Northern Virginia will also revert to visiting policies in place before the COVID-19 pandemic.
- At Culpeper Medical Center: Inpatients may have up to two visitors at a time during visiting hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Parents or a responsible adult must accompany any visitor under the age of 12.
- At Haymarket Medical Center and Prince William Medical Center: These hospitals generally allow unrestricted visits 24 hours a day and strongly encourage visitors to consider the 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. window to promote quiet hours for patients. Certain limitations may be imposed based on factors such as the patient’s condition and location within the hospital. Visitors under the age of 12 must be supervised by an adult during their visit.
UVa Health added that all of these policies are subject to change based on seasonal circumstances, as well as the prevalence of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses in the communities served.
Besides, “Patients can ask their care teams to wear masks during treatment and clinic visits where masking is optional. People with symptoms of COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses will be required to wear a mask at all times, regardless of location. »
For more information, visit uvahealth.com.
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