System also moves to limit non-essential surgeries at its hospitals
Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases being seen across the Upstate, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System is making some temporary changes to its visitation policy. Starting yesterday, one visitor will be allowed per patient per day in most cases at the system’s hospitals: Spartanburg Medical Center, Spartanburg Medical Center—Mary Black Campus, Cherokee Medical Center, Pelham Medical Center, and Union Medical Center.
Spartanburg Medical Center President Phil Feisal said COVID-19 hospitalizations are increasing throughout the healthcare system, and the temporary visitation restrictions are necessary to protect patients, their visitors, and caregivers. According to DHEC figures, statewide, 1580 patients are hospitalized with the virus, with close to 25% of those patients in ICU, and nearly 15% of them on ventilators. Across all Spartanburg hospitals, there are only 15 open beds, and just 7 open ICU beds. 129 COVID patients are hospitalized in Spartanburg, with 28 in ICU and 19 on ventilators. Cherokee County has 8 COVID patients and 1 in ICU. Union County has 2 COVID patients hospitalized.
Feisal stated, “This surge in COVID-19 cases is very concerning, especially given the low vaccination rates in Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union counties. The COVID-19 patients in our facilities are almost exclusively unvaccinated. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself from serious illness due to COVID-19. If you haven’t been vaccinated, please consider getting your first shot today.”
DHEC statistics show that Union County just crossed a vaccination milestone, with more than 10,000 residents receiving their first vaccination. 10,080, or 42.6% of Union’s eligible population, have now received one shot, with 36.2% having completed their vaccinations. Cherokee County has the second-lowest percentage in the state of its citizens who are fully vaccinated. Union County’s rate is the 5th-lowest. Spartanburg County has the 16th-lowest fully vaccinated rate.
Those who do visit will receive masks upon entering the hospital and will be required to wear them throughout the duration of their visit. They will be given ID badges to wear inside the hospital. They will be asked to properly wash or sanitize their hands and may be screened prior to entry. Patients receiving visitors will be required to wear masks as they move throughout the hospital and while visitors are in the room. Visitors must be 18 or older. COVID patients are not allowed visitors, except in certain compassionate care situations, such as end of life.
Medical Group of the Carolinas offices allow one support person ages 18 or older for patients who require special assistance, pediatric patients, and prenatal appointments. For outpatient services, one support person ages 18 and older is allowed for each patient undergoing an outpatient procedure that requires anesthesia or moderate-to-deep sedation. Masks are required at all times.
In addition to the visitation changes, the hospital system is again limiting non-essential surgeries at its hospitals.