PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Several Palm Beach County hospitals are changing their policy for visitors due to the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Florida.
A spokesman for Palm Beach Health Network said that until further notice, only one visitor is allowed for patients who are admitted to the following hospitals:
- St. Mary’s Medical Center
- Palm Beach Children’s Hospital
- Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center
- Delray Medical Center
- West Boca Medical Center
- Good Samaritan Medical Center
This impacts patients who are admitted to the emergency room, surgical and direct admissions, OB/maternity patients, and children.
All visitors must wear face masks, practice social distancing, sanitize their hands, and stay in the patient's room at all times.
Visitors won't be allowed in the hospital if they have any symptoms of COVID-19, don't pass the screening process, are asymptomatic but have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 10 days, and don't adhere to masking and social distancing rules.
"I think we share some of the frustrations that all the other hospitals here in South Florida feel and just wish more of our patients were vaccinated to loosen the overall hospital burden everyone is going through now," said Dr. Stephen Milan, a pulmonologist at West Boca Medical Center.
Concerns are growing among doctors because of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday is expected to recommend that people who are fully vaccinated wear masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging.
"We've kind of been here before," Milan said. "We're a little bit more prepared. We know what to expect and we have the right supplies and equipment we need."
For more information about the visitation policy at Palm Beach Health Network hospitals, click here.
HCA Palm Beach Hospitals -- which includes JFK Medical Center North and Main Campus, Palms West Hospital, and the Children's Hospital of Palms West -- has also updated its visitation policy and is only allowing one adult visitor per patient per day.
A spokesman for Baptist Health South Florida -- which operates Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Bethesda Hospital East, and Bethesda Hospital West -- said elective surgeries and procedures which require overnight stays are being evaluated daily.
"We will communicate directly with any patient whose surgery or procedure may need to be rescheduled," said Michael Maucker, the marketing manager for Baptist Health South Florida, in a statement to WPTV. "Any surgery or procedure that is taking place in an outpatient location will not be impacted at this time."