HONESDALE, Pa. — Since mid-March, Wayne Memorial Hospital has had strict limits on visitors due to COVID-19, but now that Wayne County has moved into the green phase of reopening, the hospital in Honesdale is allowing most patients to pick one person who can visit them during their hospital stay.
"We thought it's time. People want to get in and see their relatives, their family members inside the hospital, and visitors do help often in the recovery of patients," said Lisa Champeau, Wayne Memorial Health System public relations.
New protocols include masks for visitors who don't have their own, along with special seating areas in the lobby to make sure people are 6-feet apart.
Wayne Memorial says having visitors at the hospital can lead to better care for patients after they're sent home.
"That they were aware of the care that was being rendered and what care they will need when they get home if they had been part of the care planning process in the hospital," said James Pettinato, director of Patient Care Services.
Over the past few months, Wayne Memorial has treated about 30 patients who tested positive for COVID-19. Currently, the hospital has no COVID-19 patients.
The hospital says over the past three weeks, it's treated one patient who tested positive for COVID-19.
"It's been very tough during the COVID time with visitation being restricted, but we're getting some control of the situation, and now again, visitation will be an important part of the patient's healing process," said Pettinato.
"No matter what your situation is to be in the hospital, you're trying to heal, so you need your loved ones and friends around you, so I think it's fabulous and people should be able to have visitors," said Ann Marie Kestel, Lakeville.
Ann Marie Kestel was here visiting her mother and feels comfortable with the precautions the hospital is taking.
"Cleaning of mobile x-ray machines, cleaning the individuals themselves walking in and out of a room, and immediately the first thing they do do is use the hand sanitizer," said Kestel.