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Update from Large Health Care Institutions in the MedQuarter

The MedQuarter | March 17th, 2020

Cedar Rapids Hospitals Update Visitor Restrictions

Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital are further restricting hospital visitors, due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), in order to protect patients, staff, visitors and the community.

Starting at 3 p.m. today St. Luke’s will put these measures in place and Mercy at 7 a.m. tomorrow (March 17) all routine visiting at the hospitals will be suspended until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our patients, staff and community.

The decision to restrict visitors was difficult and made only after careful consideration as we witness schools, churches and other venues restrict gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We recognize that there are times when having a visitor or family member present is crucial. In these cases, visitors will be allowed based on the exceptions listed below.

Please note in all cases a visitor will only be allowed if they do not have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever (100.4 or greater) cough, shortness of breath). Additionally, children under the age of 16 will not be allowed except under extraordinary circumstances.

Exceptions include:

  • Obstetric patients may have one partner and one birth support person accompany them.
  • Nursery and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients may have one birth parent plus one significant other who must remain in the room for the duration of the visit.
  • St. Luke’s patients who are at the end-of-life may have two visitors.
  • Mercy patients at end-of-life may have visitors assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Patients with disruptive behavior, where a family member is key to their care, may have one visitor.
  • Patients who have altered mental status or developmental delays (where caregiver provides safety) may have one visitor.
  • Minors under the age of 18 may have one visitor, parents, or guardians.
  • Patients undergoing surgery or procedures may have one visitor who must leave the hospital as soon as possible after the procedure/surgery.
  • Patients who have an appointment at a Mercy or St. Luke’s hospital-based clinic, laboratory, or radiology, as well as those visiting the Emergency Room (ER), may have one person with them.
  • All Birth Care tours and classes are postponed until further notice, with the exception of St. Luke’s C-Section Class, this will still take place.

Visitors allowed must stay in the patients room the entire time of the visit. Once the visitor leaves the patient room, they must leave the hospital.

Please note that visitors will not be allowed for patients with a pending or positive COVID-19 test.

We appreciate your understanding during these uncertain times. Our goal is to protect our patients, staff and the community.

 

Elective Surgeries Suspended in Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids, IOWA – With the continuing spread of COVID-19 within the U.S., Mercy Medical Center, Mercy Physicians, UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital, Surgery Center Cedar Rapids and Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state and local health authorities, to care for affected individuals while taking steps to limit person-to-person spread within our communities.

At this time, we have collectively decided to temporarily postpone, non-life threatening, non-urgent surgeries and procedures. This step will impact elective surgeries and procedures at the Cedar Rapids hospitals and Surgery Center. Care teams at each entity will begin the process of reaching out to affected patients to reschedule. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will reassess on an ongoing basis.

The health and safety of our patients and staff is always our top priority. We believe taking this step now, is the best interest of all and will help us protect our valuable resources, which is our healthcare workers, providers and will also preserve supplies during this challenging period.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Sarah Corizzo, UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital, 319-369-8372 or 319-560-2385 and Karen Vander Sanden, Mercy Medical Center, 319-398-6083 or 319-558-8424.