Centra to close to visitors at 5 p.m. today

Published 1:37 pm Monday, March 16, 2020

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Centra Southside Community Hospital will prohibit visitor access beginning at 5 p.m. today.

A release from Centra detailing the measures taken said the move is being made out of an abundance of caution.

“We understand this change will represent a significant hardship for both patients and families,” the release said. “This was a difficult decision, but one we feel is critically important to protect the patients who have entrusted us with their care, their families, our staff and the communities we serve. We want to assure both our caregivers and community that it is safe to visit Centra for scheduled appointments and procedures.”

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All four Centra hospitals will close at 5 p.m. today.

There are some narrow exceptions to the “no visitor” policy.

  • One visitor will be permitted for obstetrical patients
  • A parent or legal guardian will be permitted for pediatric patients.
  • Other exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Exceptions will be made for patients receiving end-of-life care.
  • Approved visitors as well as outpatients with scheduled appointments will be screened prior to entry.

The hospital encourages patients in the hospital to connect with family and friends by phone, or through Facetime or Skype.

The release also announced that Centra would cancel non-essential surgeries and procedures. Some procedures and conditions will continue to be performed if deemed medically necessary.

Other measures being taken include restricting routine and elective follow up visits for patients over 70 years of age.

The Dawson Inn in Lynchburg is being closed until further notice. The release said Centra may use the 20-room facility in the event more beds are needed for sick patients.

Centra has also set up a hotline for individuals inquiring about COVID-19. The hotline number is (434) 200-1225.