Lifespan announced Monday afternoon that effective immediately, no visitors will be allowed in adult units at any Lifespan hospitals including Newport Hospital in light of local cases of coronavirus and national and international instances of exponential spread of the disease.
Hasbro Children’s Hospital and Bradley Hospital will have modified policies to allow for accompaniment by one parent. Newport Hospital maternity services will allow for a birthing partner only.
Patients arriving at the emergency department will be limited to one accompanying adult, and that person’s duration of stay in patient areas will be minimized.
“We have decided after great deliberation to take this step in these highly unusual circumstances to protect our patients and our workforce. We understand this is a great hardship to both patients and families, but we know that older and sicker people are most vulnerable to this novel coronavirus, and after careful evaluation of the evolving risks of transmission, we felt it was the most prudent thing to do,” said Timothy J. Babineau, M.D., president and CEO of Lifespan.
Care teams will make exceptions in specific circumstances, such as end-of-life care or a patient in need of a medical guardian/decision-maker. Patients and families should discuss any special requirements with their care team.
Simple precautions remain the first line of defense against respiratory viruses. Lifespan urges the public to please continue to follow the usual guidelines:
Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you’re unable to wash your hands.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Cover your cough with a tissue and immediately dispose of the tissue, or sneeze into your elbow.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched frequently (e.g., phones, doorknobs).
Stay home if you are sick.
Lifespan’s hospitals include Miriam Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital’s pediatric division, Hasbro Children’s Hospital; Bradley Hospital; Newport Hospital; and Gateway Healthcare.