WakeMed, UNC and Duke ease restrictions on visitors despite surge in COVID-19 cases

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Duke University Hospital (Photo: WTVD)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — It’s not quite rolling out the red carpet, but this is welcome news for many lonely patients.

WakeMed on Friday allowed one visitor per patient to visit his or her loved one in the hospital for the first time amidst the COVID19 pandemic, joining UNC Rex and Duke Hospital which instituted similar updated policies this week.

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“This is not a step we are taking lightly,” Donald Gintzig, President and CEO of WakeMed Health and Hospitals said. “The safety of the WakeMed family and our patients has been front and center during the many thoughtful discussions about this topic. We recognize our visitation restrictions, while critically needed, have been difficult on patients, their families and staff, who have shared heartbreaking stories with us. This new visitation policy, while less restrictive than our current policy, still allows us to maintain a safe environment.”

According to¬†WakeMed’s updated guidelines, the designated supporter must be at least 18 years old, be screened with a temperature check and free of COVID-19 symptoms each time they visit, and always wear a face covering. The visitors are also prohibited from roaming the halls, gathering in lobbies or waiting rooms, and “follow all social distancing and safety guidance.”

Read more here.