With only a few exceptions, both hospitals in Roswell are no longer allowing visitors into their facilities.
In certain cases, one visitor per patient may be allowed at either Eastern New Mexico Medical Center or Lovelace Regional Hospital. Both hospitals have limited entry only through their emergency departments.
Any visitors to either hospital will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and will be escorted to the appropriate area, according to emails from their respective marketing and communications staff.
Exceptions when a visitor might be allowed at both hospitals are for patients under 18, maternity units and end-of-life scenarios.
Cases at ENMMC might also include the neonatal intensive care unit, according to the email from Brooke Linthicum, marketing director at the hospital.
At Lovelace, palliative care patients might also be able to have a visitor, and pre-arranged family training for patients discharged from the rehabilitation hospital will still be conducted, according to the revised visiting policies emailed by Whitney Marquez, Lovelace communications manager.
Lovelace encourages people to stay in contact with patients in the hospital using other methods.
“We know that this will impact the connection between patients in our facilities and their loved ones. We encourage loved ones to connect with patients through options such as phone calls, FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp and other online platforms,” the visitation policy states.
Linthicum said ENMMC has been preparing for changes in its policies for several weeks.
“Earlier in March, we began taking proactive steps to prepare for the protection of patients, our caregivers and the community while monitoring ongoing COVID-19 updates in conjunction with the New Mexico Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” she wrote in the email.
The hospital is also working with the state health department to monitor its inventory and protocols in case of a surge of COVID-19 patients in the region, she said.
Above all, she stressed, it’s important to follow the guidelines that have been issued: frequent hand washing, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, avoid touching your face, cleaning frequently touched objects and surfaces, and staying home, especially if you are sick, unless it is to get medical treatment.
To keep up with local coverage of the coronavirus, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/covid-19-situation/.
City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or email@example.com.