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March 16 Update

As a patient of Sentara Healthcare, we want to provide you with important information regarding COVID-19, including updates to our policies and procedures. This update will address the following:

  • Updated Sentara Visitor Policy
  • Sentara COVID-19 Call Center
  • Dedicated Respiratory Units
  • Elective Procedures

Updated Sentara Visitor Policy

Effective Monday, March 16, all routine visiting is being suspended until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our patients, staff and community. This includes all outpatient services. Exceptions include:

  • Obstetric patients may have one partner and one birth support person accompany them.
  • Nursery and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients may have 2 parents, legal guardians, or caregivers who must remain in the room for the duration of the visit.
  • Patients who are at the end-of-life may have 2 visitors.
  • Patients with disruptive behavior, where a family member is key to their care, may have 1 visitor.
  • Patients who have altered mental status or developmental delays (where caregiver provides safety) may have 1 visitor.
  • Minors under the age of 18 may have 1 visitor, either a parent or a guardian.
  • Patients visiting the Emergency Department, may have 1 person with them only during their ED stay.

Visitors age 12 and under are prohibited inside our hospitals. Visitors allowed must stay in the patient’s room the entire time of the visit. Once the visitor leaves the patient room, they must leave the hospital immediately.

Sentara COVID-19 Call Center

Contact Number: 1-833-945-2395

The Sentara COVID-19 Call Center will begin serving our community on Monday, March 16th at 9:00 a.m. The Call Center will:

  • Operate seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Direct callers to appropriate resources based on nurses’ evaluations.
  • Answer questions about signs and symptoms based on current CDC guidelines.
  • Provide information on Sentara policies and our COVID-19 response.
  • NOT schedule appointments, provide testing recommendations, or test results.

Dedicated Respiratory Units Established in Sentara Hospitals

Sentara hospitals now have dedicated respiratory units for in-patients who have tested presumptive positive for COVID-19, or are awaiting their test results. High-risk or confirmed COVID-19 patients whose symptoms require hospitalization will be cared for in individual patient rooms within the dedicated respiratory unit.

Only essential staff will care for patients, all while wearing full protective gear. These dedicated units will limit potential exposure to additional staff and patients.

Elective Procedures

Yesterday, the Surgeon General made a statement about canceling elective surgeries. We have a plan for when to limit, reschedule, or transition elective surgeries to another location, that is aligned with the Surgeon General and Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association’s guidance.

We will communicate with you if and when Sentara makes changes to elective surgeries and procedures.

Your Safety, First

Sentara Healthcare is prepared to meet the healthcare needs of the communities we serve. Our updated policies and new community call center will help us better control the spread of the COVID-19 while continuing to provide quality care for you and your loved ones.

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