TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, hospitals across the country and here in Arizona began limiting the number of visitors in hopes of lessening the likelihood of patients being exposed to the virus.
But, as the new case count continues its downward trend across Arizona, hospitals like Tucson Medical Center are adjusting their guidelines.
“As a nurse and as a leader at this hospital I feel really good about getting to this point,” said Judy Rich, the President and CEO of Tucson Medical Center.
TMC is starting to allow some visitors back after restricting them to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“Were going to be screening all visitors,” said Rich. “Were going to be masking all the visitors so that we really minimize the chance that anybody would feel that they’re being exposed to covid.”
All visitors will be required to wear a mask, have their temperature taken and answer a couple of questions. Though there will be a bit of a different process for guests visiting emergency room patients.
“Were going to ask the visitor to wait in an air-conditioned waiting room in a tent outside the hospital,” said Rich. “We will call them when the patient gets a room.”
The guidelines set for expecting mothers in the mother and baby unit, one guest will be allowed into the room.
Rich says she and her team carefully weighed the outcome of allowing visitors back. She says she received lots of letters from loved ones of patients who passed away without getting to say goodbye.
“This is a lot more than just being able to say goodbye to somebody who dies,” said Rich. “This is really being a part of the heeling process.”
As a nurse, rich says she confident and excited about the decision.
“Were optimistic that were getting this virus under control If we all continue to wear our masks and behave,” said Rich.