Person Memorial Hospital to allow more visitors while others in central NC keep strict regulations

Local News

ROXBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – For the first time in nearly a year, Person Memorial Hospital’s visitor parking lot could become a little busier.

“Not too long ago, mid-January, we were as high as 13.7 percent (COVID-19 positivity rate). What we’ve seen is a precipitative drop. We’ve seen the prevalence being consistently low over the last several weeks. So, we thought it was time to make the change,” said David Ziolkowski, Person Memorial Hospital’s CEO.

The change?

Starting this week, Person Memorial will move into Phase 1 of its visitation policy. It states that emergency department patients will be allowed two well visitors, one at a time. Pediatric patients will also be allowed two visitors, which will only include parents or guardians.

Medical/surgical can have three visitors a day, one at a time.

“We are not out of the woods, but we do think that this is a step in the right direction. I think the apprehension of it is whenever we have more social interaction there’s always a risk. We are taking extra precautions,” Ziolkowski said.

Ziolkowski said the nearly 100-bed hospital has zero COVID-19 patients.

As for much larger hospitals like WakeMed and health care systems like Duke and UNC, they told CBS 17 they currently have no plans of allowing more visitors.

For UNC Health, it’s one visitor during the day and one at night. Duke Health and WakeMed are allowing one visitor. All three are allowing two parents or guardians for pediatric patients.

Duke Health said in a statement: “The visitor restrictions enacted for covid-19 will remain at Duke Health facilities for now. we understand the importance of visitors for our patients and are continually monitoring the data around community infection rates. We will consider revising the current policies when we are confident, we can maintain the safety of our patients and staff members.”

“So, while there is a risk. Overall, our staff is very positive,” Ziolkowski said.

He said the hospital still requires mask wearing, social distancing and will also screen visitors.

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