September 18, 2020
Wichita, KS — Wesley Healthcare announced today it will be allowing patients to have one visitor inside the hospital as of noon on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020. This new policy will replace the health system’s previous no-visitor restrictions, which were implemented in July as COVID-19 cases began to rise in Sedgwick County.
While all precautions will remain in place – including universal screening, masking and temperature checks at all public entrances – patients will be allowed to have one visitor in the building between 6:00am to 8:00pm daily. One patient advocate also will be allowed to accompany patients into hospital emergency departments and freestanding ERs.
No visitors will be allowed in high-risk areas (e.g. COVID-positive patient units), and no visitors under the age of 12 will be allowed in the hospital.
“We understand how important it is for patients to have a family member present while they are hospitalized,” Wesley CEO Bill Voloch said. “This new policy will make it possible for patients to have someone present to help advocate on their behalf and make their hospital stays less stressful.”
While only one visitor will be allowed for each patient, families may assign one to two individuals to alternate as patient advocates during their loved one’s stay. If alternating, visitors will be asked to relieve one another at the hospital entrance to prevent having more than one family member in the building at a time.
“Our top priority continues to be the safety of our patients, visitors, physicians and colleagues,” Voloch said. “While we sympathize with family members who want to see their loved ones while they are hospitalized, but we’re asking them to help us maintain a safe environment and protect the entire community during this pandemic.”
While visitors will be allowed in the building from 6:00am to 8:00pm daily, special exceptions may be made for overnight stays when appropriate. These decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Other exceptions include:
- Two parents/guardians for infants and pediatric patients
- One parent/guardian overnight for pediatric, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and neonatal special care unit (NSCU) patients
- Two support people for women in labor, both of whom can remain overnight
- Visitation for end-of-life situations, allowing two family members for two hours
Wesley Medical Center is asking that all visitors enter from the main hospital entrance on Hillside or through the visitor parking garage, located at Hillside and Murdock. While outpatients may still use the Critical Care (Building 7) entrance between 6:00am and 6:00pm, Monday through Friday, visitors will be directed to the main entrance should they attempt to enter there.
At Wesley Woodlawn Hospital & ER, patients and advocates are asked to enter through the main entrance between 6:00 am and 3:00pm daily, and through the emergency department entrance from 3:00—8:00pm. The imaging department entrance will also remain open from 7:00am—3:30pm, Monday through Friday.
Wesley will continue to monitor and review its visitor policies as the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve.
“If the situation changes and we see another increase in COVID-19 infection rates or hospitalizations, we will re-visit our visitation policy,” Voloch said. “We’re very pleased that the current situation will allow us to offer families greater access to their loved ones at this challenging time.”