By Carol Vaughn —
Since Aug. 1, the Eastern Shore has reported 528 cases of COVID-19; 43 hospitalizations, including nine hospitalizations since Sept. 1; and seven deaths.
Riverside Health System is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 18.
An Aug. 25 press release announced Riverside and other Hampton Roads healthcare organizations — including Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters Health System, and Sentara Healthcare — were updating their vaccination policies to require employees to be vaccinated against the virus.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association’s on July 18 issued a statement supporting COVID-19 vaccine requirements for all hospital and health system employees.
“We applaud Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters Health System, Riverside Health System and Sentara Healthcare for taking this important step in the name of public health and safety,” said Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton in the release.
“Virginia hospitals and health systems have helped lead the way on vaccination efforts in the Commonwealth, having collectively administered more than 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses since December 2020, including thousands of shots given to health care professionals,” he said.
The policy includes affilitated doctors, volunteers, students, and others who work in and for the health systems, according to the release.
Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital also updated its visitation guidelines last week in response to public health and safety concerns, according to spokesperson Sally Schreiber.
One visitor per day, between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., is permitted for a non-COVID-19 patient.
Visitation is restricted for patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.
Visitors for end-of-life situations will be determined by the care team on a case-by-case basis.
In the emergency department, one visitor may accompany each adult patient. Two parents or guardians may accompany children who are patients. Visitation is restricted for patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.
In the maternity ward, a patient may have two visitors and visitation is not limited to the 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. visitation hours.
For outpatient procedures and departments, one visitor is allowed if that person is essential to patient care. Otherwise, visitors should wait outside or in their vehicles.
Visitors must be age 16 or older, will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, and are required to wear a mask.
Masking is mandatory and seating is limited due to social distancing for appointments at Riverside Medical Group offices.
Children are not allowed unless the child has an appointment.
One family member or caregiver may accompany the patient to assist him or her or for discussion of patient treatment with the medical provider.
No visitors are allowed in infusion suites.
The updated guidelines may be viewed online at https://www.riversideonline.com/health-resources/navigating-covid-19/visitation