PATIENT / VISITOR GUIDELINES

Northwest Florida Community Hospital has been working hard to keep our patients, staff, and community healthy and safe. In response to the recent COVID-19 (Coronavirus) epidemic, we have taken multiple measures and precautions to minimize the spread of this infection.

We are following all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Health, Florida Hospital Association and the World Health Organization (WHO). NFCH is prepared for and capable of providing care for patients with all manner of illness, including the COVID-19 virus.

A Healthy Visitor policy remains in place which prohibits those with a cold, cough, respiratory illness or fever from visiting hospitalized patients or accompanying patients to visits. Visitors and support persons who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to visit.

This policy is subject to change based on the risk level for COVID-19 in our area as defined by the Florida Department of Public Health, CDC and CMS guidelines. Adherence to this policy will be ensured by the Infection Control nurse.

Visits for compassionate care, such as an end-of-life situation or a resident in decline or distress will be allowed at all times for any resident (vaccinated or unvaccinated).

THESE GUIDELINES APPLY TO ALL AREAS:

  • A face covering or mask is required upon entry and must be worn properly while in the facility.
  • Social Distancing is highly recommended in all patient waiting areas.
  • Hand Hygiene is strongly encouraged. Please perform hand hygiene when touching any surface and/or entering or leaving any rooms
  • Patient may designate one ESSENTAIL CAREGIVER. If designated, the essential caregiver will be allowed at least two hours of daily visitation, regardless of any other visitation. The essential caregiver need not provide care to a patient, and providers may not require the essential caregiver to provide care.

THESE PATIENT-SPECIFIC OR UNIT-SPECIFIC GUIDELINES ARE IN PLACE WHICH
MUST BE COMPLIED WITH AT ALL TIMES:

Non-Covid-19
2nd Floor
Patients

Non-COVID Inpatients may have visitors during visitor hours from 10 am to 6 pm.

Due to social distancing only 2 visitors in a patient room at a time in addition to the essential caregiver.

Number of visitors allowed may vary based on social distancing and privacy for double occupancy rooms.

Pediatric
Patients

Minor patients under the age of 18 may have two support persons (parent or guardian) at
all times.

Emergency
Department

Due to social distancing, emergency department patients may have one visitor at a time. Visitors can be switched out as needed.

Minor patients under the age of 18 may have two support persons (parent or guardian) at all times.

Surgical Areas

Two visitors will be allowed to wait in the waiting area. Only one visitor may come back
with patient to pre-op area.

Outpatient Areas
(Lab, Radiology,
Respiratory, and
Wound)

One visitor is allowed per patient. Due to social distancing, visitors may be limited based on space and social distancing requirements.

COVID-19
Positive & PUI
Patients

No visitors will be allowed for patients who are COVID-19 positive or PUI (person under investigation) except essential caregivers and/or special circumstances.

All visitors must be approved by the patient and staff must be notified. Visitors will be required to follow strict instructions from clinical staff related to hand washing, PPE, entry/exit and length of visit with patient. All visitors will accept all risks from visitation and will not hold the hospital liable for any transmission or contraction of disease states.

Clinic Patients

A face covering or mask is required upon entry and must be worn properly while in the facility. Please alert check in staff of any signs of respiratory illness.

THESE PATIENT-SPECIFIC OR UNIT-SPECIFIC GUIDELINES PER CDC AND CMS ARE IN
PLACE FOR OUR SKILLED NURSING UNIT / LONG TERM CARE UNIT:

            The skilled nursing unit will allow responsible indoor visitation at all times for all residents, regardless of vaccination status of the resident, or visitor, unless certain scenarios arise that would limit visitation for:

  • Unvaccinated residents if; 1) the COVID-19 county positivity rate is greater than 10 percent; and 2) less than 70 percent of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated.
  • Residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated until they have met the criteria to discontinue transmission-based precautions; or
  • Residents in quarantine, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met criteria for release from quarantine.
  • Designated Essential caregivers will be exempt from the above and will have to follow staff guidelines of appropriate PPE.

All visitors upon arrival to the floor are required to self-screen by filling out the questionnaire and self-temperature check at the nurse’s station.

All visitors are required to wear face masks while in the facility and follow social distancing guidelines.

Visitors and support persons who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to visit per CDC and CMS guidelines

Visits for compassionate care, such as an end-of-life situation or a residents in decline or distress will be allowed at all times for any resident (vaccinated or unvaccinated), regardless of the above scenarios. In addition, staff and visitors of the skilled nursing unit will continue all infection prevention and control practices.

Residents may have two (2) visitors at a time and there will be no more than eight (8) visitors on the unit at any given time.

Special Circumstances

Patients will be allowed visitation for the following circumstances unless the patient objects to visitation. Visitors may be required to use PPE based on patient status during special circumstance.

  • End of Life
  • Labor and delivery
  • Pediatric Patients
  • Patient with difficulty of adjusting to change in environment (e.g., Alzheimer’s)
  • Patient with emotional distress
  • Patient needing encouragement to eat or drink
  • Patient with altered mental status
  • Patient making major medical decisions

Updated 5/06/2022 @ 3:20pm