A hospital in Brockton, Massachusetts, has announced it is temporarily suspending visitors starting Monday amid a nationwide surge in coronavirus cases.
Brockton is one of 81 communities considered at the highest risk for transmitting the coronavirus in Massachusetts, according to the latest weekly community-level data on the pandemic.
Good Samaritan Medical Center, located at 235 North Pearl Street in Brockton, announced on its website, effective Nov. 30, that no visitors will be allowed until further notice.
There are some exceptions to the restriction, however, including allowing one parent or guardian for pediatric care; one significant other or support person for maternity and labor and delivery units; and two parents or support persons for the special care nursery.
Other extenuating circumstances, such as hospice and end-of-life care, will be considered "on the best interest and needs of the individual patient," the hospital said, with all exceptions requiring approval from the care team.
Additionally, no visitors are allowed in the emergency department or at outpatient appointments, including these areas' waiting rooms.
Surgical patients are also not allowed to have visitors unless it's the parent of a child or minor having a procedure.
For the emergency department, outpatient appointments and surgical appointments, the hospital notes that certain approved escorts will be permitted in certain circumstances with permission from clinical staff.
Coronavirus in Massachusetts
The hospital will be screening patients and essential visitors upon arrival for wellness and COVID-19 exposure. Visitors are required to wear a face mask for their duration of their visit; refusal to wear a mask will result in the loss of visitation privileges and a second designated visitor will not be permitted.
People are encouraged to bring their own masks, but surgical masks will be provided to visitors who do not have their own. Scarves, bandanas and handkerchiefs are not allowed, according to the hospital's website.
"While we are sensitive to the difficulties facing loved ones of hospitalized patients, our health care team must keep our patients and staff safe during this unprecedented health emergency," the hospital said on its website.
They are also encouraging family and friends to use alternative ways to interact with their loved ones, including phone calls and Facetime, while the ban on visitors remains in place.
Entrance to the health care facility will be also restricted to the main entrance from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily and the emergency entrance 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
The Good Samaritan Medical Center team said it appreciates everyone's understanding and cooperation in helping to keep the community safe.