Local hospitals to limit visitors, close some entrances

Only visitors without symptoms or exposure/travel history are permitted to visit, officials say

Local hospitals to limit visitors, close some entrances

SAN ANTONIO – In an effort to limit the potential spread of the coronavirus, University Hospital is limiting visitors and closing some hospital entrances, effective at 5 a.m. Friday.

According to a news release, upon entry to the hospital, visitors will be screened for symptoms of the COVID-19 virus and exposure or travel to a high-risk area.

Only visitors without symptoms or exposure/travel history are permitted to visit, and patients may only have two visitors per day.

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Some units, especially those with immune-compromised patients, may have more strict requirements.

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University Health System officials encourage family and friends to limit visitation as much as possible and to use alternative communication tools, such as tablets and phones, to stay in touch.

All patients and visitors to University Hospital must enter either through the:

  • Hospital main entrance (5 a.m. -10 p.m.)
  • Emergency Department (24 hours)
  • All hospital visitors and patients who park in the West Garage will take the shuttle to the hospital
  • Ambassadors will assist in directing visitors to the shuttle
  • The main entrance will close at 10 p.m. and the shuttles will drop off only at the adult ED
  • The children’s ED will remain open 24/7 for pediatric emergency patients
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Similar measures are being implemented at Methodist and Baptist hospitals.

Baptist Health System issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:

"As with any communicable disease, as our patients enter the hospitals in areas such as emergency department or registration, hospital staff are questioning all of their recent travel and detailing symptoms. We evaluate relevant symptom criteria and implement contact airborne isolation, if required, without delay.

"We have changed the way our hospitals are accessed to further increase our efforts to protect patients, visitors and employees. We are screening all visitors for symptoms and travel history before they are allowed entry. We have created hand sanitization stations and have limited access points to our hospitals to fewer entrances and exits for closer monitoring and evaluation.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are also changing our visitation policy until further notice. Starting tomorrow, all visitors will be screened for temperature before entering the building. We are also limiting the number of visitors allowed. In addition, a patient that is a Person Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 or has a confirmed case of COVID-19 cannot accept visitors.”

About the Author:

David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.