Tidelands Health adjusts hospital visitation policy amid COVID-19 surge in region
In response to increasing COVID-19 spread in the region, Tidelands Health is adjusting its hospital visitation guidelines effective Friday at 8 a.m.
The health system is implementing additional restrictions to help limit any potential spread of COVID-19 as cases and hospitalizations in the region increase dramatically, fueled by the Delta variant.
“We’ve reached a point with rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in our region that we must take these additional precautions to protect our patients, team members and community,” said Dr. Gerald Harmon, vice president of medical affairs at Tidelands Health. “We appreciate the community’s understanding as we all double down on our efforts to stop this virus from spreading.”
Under the new visitor guidelines:
- With certain restrictions and precautions, inpatients at Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital and Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital may be accompanied by one adult patient support partner between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Additionally, one adult patient support partner may stay overnight. Pediatric patients may be accompanied by two adults.
- For the safety of patients, their loved ones and our team members, patients in COVID-19 isolation may not be accompanied by a patient support partner. Exceptions may be made for end-of-life situations and other special circumstances.
- Visitors are not allowed in the emergency department. Patients in the emergency department who require extra support or assistance may be accompanied by an adult patient support partner if approved by clinical staff.
- Patients receiving outpatient services may be accompanied by one adult patient support partner.
- Patients at Tidelands Health Rehabilitation Hospital, an affiliate of Encompass Health, may be visited by one adult patient support partner a day between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
“These additional measures are part of our ‘Safe in Our Care’ commitment to keep our patients and team members protected amid this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Harmon said. “We will continue to closely watch the number of COVID-19 cases and adjust our visitor guidelines as needed.”
Tidelands Health also strongly encourages everyone 12 and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which has proven to be safe and highly effective in controlling the spread of COVID-19. Starting Monday, the vaccine will be offered at all Tidelands Health Family Medicine offices to patients with routine appointments.
Individuals without appointments with their physician can get the vaccine at one of three convenient Tidelands Health regional vaccination sites in Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet and Georgetown. No appointments are needed at the vaccination sites; individuals can simply walk in during the following hours:
- Tidelands Health Medical Park at The Market Common, 2200 Crow Lane, Myrtle Beach: Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Waccamaw Medical Park West, 4040 Highway 17, Suite 204, Murrells Inlet, Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital, Harris Medical Pavilion entrance, 606 Black River Road, Georgetown, every Monday, Tuesday and Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting the vaccine,” Dr. Harmon said. “It’s concerning to watch COVID-19 cases jump so much in such a short time – especially when we know there’s a vaccine that could help limit that spread. We don’t want to go back to what we experienced last summer or after the holidays when our hospitals were overwhelmed with very sick COVID-19 patients.
“Please ask questions of your physician or another trusted adviser to get accurate, reliable information and consider getting the vaccine to not only protect yourself, loved ones and community, but to help us defeat this virus.”