RENSSELAER — Franciscan Health Rensselaer imposed a “no visitor” policy Monday due to the rise in reported cases of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.
The Indiana Department of Health reported the number of cases rose from 24 on Monday to 30 as of 10 a.m. Tuesday, with two confirmed deaths — one each in Marion and Johnson counties. The new cases involve residents of Lake, Franklin, Hamilton, Bartholomew, Floyd, La Porte, Wells and Marion counties.
According to the IDH website map, there are no reports of the virus in Jasper, White, Cass, Carroll, Pulaski and Tippecanoe counties.
The nearest reported cases of COVID-19 to Jasper County are two people in Lake County and one person in La Porte County.
The new “no visitor” restrictions apply to all of Franciscan’s locations, which also include Lafayette and Crawfordsville.
Exceptions will be considered in the following areas where a patient may receive one visitor:
- Emergency departments
- Labor and delivery at Franciscan Health Lafayette East
- Outpatient surgery
- Pediatrics Unit at Franciscan Health Lafayette East
- NICU at Franciscan Health Lafayette East
- Outpatient Cancer Center services
- End-of-life situations
Franciscan officials said the guidelines are in collaboration with other hospitals in the area and around Indiana. On Sunday, Indiana University Health White Memorial Hospital in Monticello imposed similar “no visitor” restrictions.
“While the criteria for COVID-19 testing is changing on an almost daily basis, stringent measures are in place to monitor and screen patients who might have recently traveled outside of the country and potentially were exposed to the recently discovered virus, or who may have been exposed to the virus domestically,” the Franciscan Health website states.
Franciscan officials said “infection control teams” have been deployed and implemented procedures with staff and “have the necessary equipment” to care for patients who have COVID-19 or any other influenza strain. It includes, they said, protective barriers and isolation areas to protect staff and others from airborne exposure to COVID-19.
“Our clinicians train year-round to respond to any potential outbreaks of infectious diseases,” officials said.
Other restrictions include:
- Appropriate and approved visitors will be screened at the entrances. If a visitor has a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher or has other symptoms (cough, sore throat, stuffy/runny nose, chills, nausea or vomiting), they will not be allowed to enter the hospital to visit.
- Appropriate and approved visitors who pass the health screenings will receive a sticker for the day.
- Any COVID-19 positive inpatient will not be allowed visitors, except the parent of a child who is a patient with COVID-19.
- All hospital clinical staff will be screened at their respective units and departments at the beginning of their shifts.
At Franciscan Rensselaer, the only point of entry into the hospital will be through the Emergency Department. All other entrances will be closed.
For updates on Franciscan’s response to the coronavirus, visit FranciscanHealth.org/covid-19.