UT Health Athens has implemented new patient visitation policies due to the rise in COVID-19 case numbers in the area. For the safety of hospital staff, patients and guests, COVID-19 patients will no longer be allowed visitation. All other patients can have one visitor per patient per day. Phone and video calls are encouraged.

“We have more COVID-19 patients now than at any point during the pandemic,” said Nicholas Shirilla, assistant administrator for UT Health Athens. “In order to protect the safety of our patients, staff and visitors, we had to change the way we operate for the time being.”

The revised visitation rules are as follows:

• Visitation hours begin at 10 a.m. and end at 8 p.m. daily.

• Visitors should check in at the main entrance outside the gift shop from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at the Emergency Department entrance from 5 to 8 p.m.

• Visitors should stay in the room of the patient they are visiting.

• Mask wearing will be enforced at all times.

• Once a visitor leaves for the day, the patient cannot have another visitor until the following day.

• The cafeteria is closed to all visitors. Food trays can be delivered to visitors if they choose.

• COVID-19 patients who are end of life will be allowed visitation per the guidelines above. Visitors also will need to wear additional PPE to enter the unit.

About UT Health East Texas

UT Health East Texas provides care to thousands of patients each year through an extensive regional network that includes 10 hospitals, more than 50 clinics, the Olympic Plaza Tower, 13 regional rehabilitation facilities, two freestanding emergency centers, regional home health services covering 41 counties, an EMS fleet of more than 50 ambulances and four helicopters, and a comprehensive seven-trauma center care network, including the region’s only Level 1 trauma facility.

As a partner with The University of Texas System, UT Health East Texas is uniquely positioned to provide patients with access to leading-edge research and clinical therapies while training and educating the next generation of physicians and other health professionals. The nationally recognized UT System also includes UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, as well as three other major university medical centers located throughout the state.

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