Some New Hampshire hospitals are returning with more restrictive visitor policies, as cases of COVID-19 and community transmission have increased statewide over the past few weeks.
Starting November 6, Dartmouth Hitchcock facilities no longer allow inpatient or outpatient visits, except for eight specific cases, including labor and delivery, doctor appointments of a child or in hospice care.
Michael Calderwood, an infectious disease specialist at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. said the increased number of cases – exceeding the number New Hampshire saw this spring – was a key reason for the updated visitor policy.
“Even though we have policies on screening and blocking, we know we have an increasing number in the facility,” The higher the number, the more opportunities there are. transmission of the disease ”.
He said while the hospital has not seen that, they want to take the initiative.
“Like so many other things surrounding COVID, this is a difficult change,” he said. “But we really have to realize that maybe we have accidentally carried the virus and we want to think about how we can do anything to protect those around us, especially loved ones. of us and the people who are taking care of them. ”
Calderwood said laboratory clinics at Dartmouth-Hitchcock facilities have seen an increase in the number of people with symptoms they are testing for and an increase in people exposed to COVID, because “people have expanded their social bubble. ”
Concord Hospital has also limited its visitation policy to deal with the growing number of infections. No visitors are allowed in outpatient treatment areas, with some exceptions, and hospital patients are allowed one visitor per patient stay.
Both hospitals have virtual examination programs for their patients, all medical procedures are still ongoing and available.