COVID-19 stops visitation

COVID-19 forces U.S. hospitals to put a limit of the number of people going in and out

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Jessica Majors

Many COVID-19 patients await for family members to come visit, but little do they know hospitals banned visitation due to the outbreak.

Jessica Majors, Asst. Sports Editor

Hospitals around the United States are redefining their rules due to the COVID-19 outbreak. One rule that has been temporarily modified is the amount of people allowed to enter hospital buildings during this unexpected time. Due to safety concerns, many states are forced to not allow any visitation at all, while some states have modified it to only one guest per patient. This is causing many problems not only with the patients, but with family members and friends not allowed to see the ill patient as well. 

While the COVID-19 virus has almost hit its peak in the United States, many hospitals are at risk. Doctors and nurses are risking their lives each and every day to help others and many health officials believe that the best way to stop spreading this virus in hospitals is to limit the amount of visitation in each hospital unit to ensure safety for all. 

Allegheny General Hospital (AHN), a local hospital around the Pittsburgh area, recently announced that new, temporary restrictions on patient visitation will be put into play in order to prevent spreading the virus. 

“At a time of heightened public health concerns related to both COVID-19 and a particularly severe influenza season, it is critical that we take every step possible to protect our patients and caregivers from the risk of exposure to infectious disease,” AHN’s Chief Quality Officer Brian Parker said. “Patient and caregiver safety is our highest priority and we greatly appreciate the support and cooperation of visitors in the efforts we are making to minimize health risks to their loved ones.”

Without being able to see an ill patient, family and friends are unable to make life-changing decisions for these individuals. 

Family members are now leaning toward technology for answers. With the help of video chat and texting, these individuals can still stay connected and help the ill patient as they are faced with isolation. 

On another note, these new restrictions are affecting many expecting mothers’ lives. With months of anticipation on their new arrival about to come, many are becoming scared and worried about the world today. Not only are they in fear of contracting the virus for themselves, but also their young newborn. Many are in fear of not being able to have a support system by their side during labor. 

Due to hospital restrictions, many expecting mothers and families are turning to other alternative options for their families. The option that has been used most commonly was changing to home births. Many midwives in the recent weeks have been receiving calls asking if these expected mothers can change to a home birth rather than giving birth in a hospital. 

The risk of complications that home birth has is high, but these expecting mothers will do what they have to do to have the support they want during labor. Even people in Ohio are traveling all the way to Pennsylvania to receive care because Ohio is one of the states that are allowing no visitations during this time and a select few Pennsylvania hospitals are allowing one visitor. 

With recent reports about shortages of masks and other protective equipment in hospitals around the U.S., many are fearful and wonder if hospitals are even safe to begin with at this point in time. With these new restrictions in place, health officials believe that with taking these risks of no visitation, that it will help cure this drastic virus, even if challenges are expected to be faced in the incoming months.