Local Hospitals, Nursing Facilities Maintain Visitor Restrictions

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With talks by Governor Asa Hutchinson, his medical, and economic advisory team to reopen some businesses, restrictions remain in place for local hospitals, and nursing facilities.

Mercy locations in Fort Smith and Waldron have a prohibited visitation policy, with the exception of the following:

  • Visitors age 18 or older for patients receiving end-of-life care at the discretion of the physician.
  • One support person age 18 or older per OB patient.
  • One parent per pediatric patient at a time.
  • One parent per NICU patient at a time.
  • One visitor age 18 or older for patients undergoing urgent procedures or their driver.
  • One visitor per emergency room patient deemed to be in critical condition by the ER physician and those who use a wheelchair and require assistance. Minors will be allowed one parent. All others will be asked to remain in their vehicle.
  • Clinic patients who have a physician inside the hospital and those who use a wheelchair and require assistance will be allowed a visitor. All others will be asked to remain in their vehicle.

The restrictions include:

  • Mercy Hospital and ER Fort Smith
  • Mercy Hospital River Valley Orthopedic in Fort Smith
  • Mercy Hospital Booneville
  • Mercy Hospital Paris
  • Mercy Hospital Ozark
  • Mercy Hospital Waldron

Entrances are limited:

  • Mercy Hospital Fort Smith’s ER entrance will be the only entrance to the main hospital, open 24/7. The Labor & Delivery, OB emergency room and pediatrics entrance will be accessible by intercom only. The main medical building entrance will only be open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. for patients who have scheduled appointments.
  • Mercy Hospitals in Booneville, Paris, Ozark and Waldron and Mercy Hospital River Valley Orthopedics is only accessible through the ER entrance.
  • The main entrance into Mercy Hospital Rogers will be the only entrance for visitors. The emergency entrance is open 24/7 for patients needing emergency care. The main Physicians Plaza entrance will be open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. for patients who have scheduled appointments.

Patients and visitors will continue to be screened upon entering the hospital.

“The safety of our patients, visitors and co-workers is of the utmost importance,” said Ryan Gehrig and Eric Pianalto, presidents of Mercy Hospital Fort Smith and Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas, respectively. “We realize this new policy may create an inconvenience for our visitors, but we must prevent unnecessary exposure to our patients and caregivers.”

Waldron Nursing Center, Pink Bud in Greenwood and long term care facilities across the state continue to follow the March 13 ADH directive prohibiting visitation. Long term care staff remain in limbo over when the mandate will be lifted.

You can learn more about hospital policies and undergo an online screening for COVID-19 here. Read the mandate for long term care facilities here.

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