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Baptist Health Jacksonville announces temporary restrictions on hospital visitors

Move comes in response to coronavirus case in Nassau county

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After the Florida Department of Health reported that a Nassau County man is the most recent person to test positive for coronavirus, Baptist Health Jacksonville on Wednesday announced new visitation restrictions.

The new restrictions for inpatient visitation include:

  • Visitors must be at least 12 years of age
  • Up to two visitors per patient at a time
  • People with cold- or flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, should not visit the hospital

The restrictions are already in place and will remain for the Wolfson Children’s Pediatric ICU, Cardiovascular ICU and Neonatal ICU, the hospital said. It’s unclear how long the restrictions will last.

Dr. Elizabeth Ransom, Executive Vice President and Chief Physician Executive, announced the changes in a press conference Wednesday.

Ransom said the hospital is closely monitoring COVID-19 developments and working with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida Department of Health and the local health department.

Baptist Health, which includes a network of five Jacksonville hospitals, said it hasn’t been contacted about the recent case in Nassau County but it is monitoring the situation.

“Throughout our entire health system, we have plans and processes and policies in place so that if and when we have COVID-19 patients arrive we are prepared and ready to care for them,” Ransom said. “Since January, we have had a team preparing for how to deal with it.”

Dr. David Rice, Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer, issued a reminder that anyone who is worried they might have COVID-19 should first call their primary care provider or the Florida Department of Health. If symptoms are severe, go directly to the emergency room, Rice said.

Baptist Health also announced it is expanding access to its telehealth program, via the Telescope Health app, by reducing the cost of virtual visits to $25.

As always, hospital officials urged the public to practice good hand hygiene by washing hands frequently and using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

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