HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The Huntsville Hospital and Decatur Morgan Hospital have updated their safety policies for visitors and patients due to COVID-19.
In order to ensure the health and safety of everyone at the hospitals, the following safety checks will done at the entrances:
- Limiting visitors inside our facilities to one support person per patient.
- The support person will get a COVID-19 screening including a temperature check, as does the hospital staff. A temperature reading of 100.4 degrees or higher means you cannot come inside.
- Support persons must wear a mask or other appropriate face covering, observe social distancing and sanitize their hands frequently.
- Employees are required to wear a mask at all times in the facilities, unless eating at a safe distance from others.
The hospitals will also be implementing the following sanitation protocols:
- The Environmental Services (EVS) team follows CDC guidelines and protocols that are approved by Huntsville Hospital’s Infection Control physicians and specialists.
- For infection prevention the cleaning protocols keep rooms and surfaces disinfected and sanitized from bacteria, viruses and germs.
- This rigorous cleaning takes time: more than 40 minutes for a standard 250-square-foot patient room.
- All high-touch surfaces such as bed rails, tray tables, TV remotes, light switches and bathroom faucets are cleaned with a hospital-grade disinfectant, manufacturer-certified to kill all germs and viruses, including coronavirus.
- Rooms and bathrooms are dusted, mopped, wiped down and disinfected from the ceiling to the floor.
- Color-coded cleaning cloths – blue for patient rooms, yellow for bathrooms – help prevent cross-contamination. Different mop heads are used for the bedroom and bathroom.
- New sanitized cloths are used in each room.
- Operating rooms are cleaned and disinfected after each surgery and then disinfected at the end of the day with a 27-step checklist.
- Designated isolation rooms are given a special deep cleaning that takes 58 minutes, on average.
The following social distancing measures will be in place to help prevent the virus' spread:
- Waiting areas and cafeterias were modified to promote social distancing and reduce capacity.
- Signs posted near elevators encourage fewer people on elevators together.
- Telehealth appointment options are available with physicians at Huntsville Hospital Heart Center, Spine & Neuro Center and some Huntsville Hospital Physician Network offices.
Additionally, the following limitations will be placed on support persons:
- Must be at least 16 years old.
- Must be temperature tested and screened when entering a facility.
- Must wear a mask or other appropriate face covering, observe social distancing and sanitize their hands frequently.
- Adult patients may have 1 support person.
- Adult surgery patients who need to stay overnight may have 1 support person after the patient is moved to their hospital room.
- For end-of-life care, a patient may have up to 2 support persons. For COVID-19 patients, support persons are required to wear personal protective equipment.
- In the Pediatric ICU, Pediatric ER, Neonatal ICU and Pediatrics Unit, patients may have 2 parents/caregivers with 1 person at a time allowed at the bedside.
- In Labor & Delivery, Mother Baby, Antepartum and the OB Emergency Department, patients may have 1 support person.
- Parents may escort pediatric surgery patients into Pre-Op and then must wait in their vehicle during the procedure. Following surgery, parents will be called when they can join their child in the recovery area.
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