GCH reinstates visitor limitations


GRAFTON—After loosening their restriction on the visitation practices at Grafton City Hospital, officials have decided to once again limit the amount of traffic in and out of the facility.

According to officials, due to the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases involving Taylor County residents, in addition to the fact that the most current cause was contracted through community spread, Grafton City Hospital has made the decision to suspend visitation at the facility.

“We are always cognizant that there can be spikes in cases, but we wanted to take a proactive approach to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff. Due to the current outbreak, we will not permit general visitation at this time,” said Grafton City Hospital President and Chief Administrative Officer George Boyles. “However, we will make some exceptions for special circumstances.”

He said that hospital staff would be sensitive to those patients who are in end-of-life situations, as well as those who may need transportation to or from the hospital and those who need assistance when visiting the facility.

“We recognize that we will have to evaluate everyone on a case by case situation,” Boyles noted.

For now, the hospital will only be admitting one adult visitor, 18 years old or older, for patients who fall into those categories.

Before being allowed the enter the premises, patients and visitors will be screened.

“We will be following the Centers for Disease Control’s recommended screening protocols, including a temperature check, as well as asking about exposure to large gatherings and any recent travel to potential hot spots,” Boyles revealed.

In addition, guests will be provided with a mask to wear during the duration of their visit.

“Any visitors who do not meet the screening criteria will not be permitted to enter the hospital,” Boyles voiced. “The health of you, our patients, our team and the community is our number one priority. We promise these steps are being taken in the best interest of everyone’s health.”

Those who believe they may have contracted the virus are asked to call the hospital to undergo screening, and are asked to not walk into the hospital to seek testing or treatment.

“If someone feels that they have been infected with Coronavirus, they should first call Grafton City Hospital at 304-265-0400, and let the operator know that they are calling in reference to the screening for the virus,” said Boyles.

Individuals will then be asked a series of questions as medical personnel work to triage them over the phone. Once it has been determined that someone is being considered a ‘Person Under Investigation,’ they will be issued an appointment time to utilize the drive-through testing.

“The patient will be given an appointment time and directed to our site, at Grafton High School,” Boyles said. “That site is being utilized from noon to 2:00 p.m., Monday-Friday and on some weekends.”

He disclosed that unless the county’s positive case count climbs any further, the new restrictions would last for only approximately two weeks.

“Again, we wanted to take steps to help protect the health of our patients and our staff from the virus,” Boyles reiterated. “If everyone follows the steps to help mitigate the spread of the virus, we will be able to loosen up on the visitation restrictions.”

He noted that by simply following the guidelines that have been in place since the beginning of the virus's outbreak, its spread can be limited.

“I am a big advocate of wearing masks. The facts show that it is one of the biggest ways to try and prevent the spread,” Boyles said. “Handwashing and maintaining social distance will also help in the mitigation of the spread of Coronavirus.”

For those who have traveled outside of the county or state, he advised that they self-monitor for symptoms, however if an individual had traveled to a hot spot area, Boyles encouraged those persons to call the hospital to undergo screening.

“It is always best to err on the side of caution,” he imparted. “We hope that everyone stays safe and healthy, and as always, we thank you for choosing Grafton City Hospital for your medical care.”

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