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Tue, Oct. 26

Dignity Health, YRMC imposes limitations on elective surgery and visitors as COVID-19 cases increase

The spike in COVID-19 cases is forcing Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center to once again impose restrictions limiting elective surgeries and visitors to protect all patients and staff. (Courier file photo)

The spike in COVID-19 cases is forcing Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center to once again impose restrictions limiting elective surgeries and visitors to protect all patients and staff. (Courier file photo)

The spike in COVID-19 cases is forcing Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center to once again impose restrictions limiting elective surgeries and visitors to protect all patients and staff.

That does not, however, apply to emergency or doctor-driven, in-patient care for those who need medical treatment beyond care for those infected with respiratory illness due to the novel coronavirus.

Scheduled appointments with the Endoscopy Department will also continue with monitoring by the medical teams. All elective procedures are now to be on hiatus between Thanksgiving and Dec. 4.

Hospital administration is making accommodations for special needs: laboring mothers and both pediatric and disabled patients will be allowed to have one loved one or caregiver with them. Hospital staff will also seek to make special accommodations for any end-of-life patients.

Even with the limited allowed visitors, YRMC is also enforcing a strict mask policy that will require all who visitors to wear a “procedural” mask, or essentially the light blue, folded paper masks.

Those who elect to wear a cloth mask can do so, but must then put the procedural mask over their other mask. Hospital staff said this is to be an extra layer of precaution for all who enter the premises.

All of the restrictions begin on Tuesday, Nov. 24, and will last “until the situation improves,” hospital officials said in a news release Monday, Nov. 23.

“As patient volumes remain higher than normal, YRMC will make every effort to provide care as quickly as possible,” the release said. “YRMC encourages patients in need of non-emergency care to seek advice from their medical provider.”

In Yavapai County over the weekend, COVID-19 positive cases escalated to 396 with YRMC West now caring for 22 patients and YRMC East caring for 11 with 1 other patient under investigation. The Prescott VA that for many weeks saw no positive cases is now caring for five on its main campus.

YRMC is now offering teleconferencing tools to enable patients to stay connected with their medical practitioners. The hospital has a limited supply of electronic tablets to be donated to those who may not have such access.

The hospital administration extends appreciation to the community for “their support and understanding during this challenging time,” the release said. Visitation restrictions will be evaluated and adjusted based on COVID-19 infection rates throughout the community.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed,” said YRMC Communications and Marketing Director Ken Boush who also reinforced the hospital’s safety message of wearing masks, regular handwashing and keeping physical distance to “ensure your safety and the safety of others.”

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