Updated Visitor Policy

Visitor Policies - Forrest Health
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    Visitor Policies

    Forrest General Hospital

    Phase I Visitation Policy
    (Effective June 1, 2020)

    Inpatients and Outpatients

    Inpatient and outpatient visitation is currently restricted per the Governor’s order. All hospitals and facilities will follow these guidelines.

    We trust you to help us keep our patients safe. Any non-patient who has shortness of breath, fever, cough, or has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or is being tested for it should not enter Forrest Health facilities.

    Inpatients under suspicion for or diagnosed with COVID-19:

    • No inpatient visitors.
    • Rare exceptions will be made in end-of-life and special circumstances, such as when the visitor is essential for the patient’s emotional well-being and health. The facility’s Vice Presidents or delegate must approve any exceptions.

    Exceptions: Inpatient not under suspicion of COVID who have been tested for screening will be permitted one visitor.

    Non-COVID-19 inpatients (all hospital departments, excluding obstetrics, pediatrics, L&D, and NICU) AND outpatients (of all physician practices, rehab, cancer centers, imaging, and all outpatient locations):

    • Inpatients: One patient visitor is permitted. The visitor will be screened upon entry and must wear a facemask.
    • Inpatient surgery patients: The same one patient visitor is permitted for the patient’s pre-op and post-op visit.
    • Outpatient surgery patients: The same one visitor is permitted during the procedure, for post-surgery discussion, and for assistance with discharge.
      • If, during clinical assessment, the patient becomes a person under investigation for COVID-19 or COVID-19 testing is being considered, we will take the visitor’s name and contact number and request that the visitor leave the facility and wait in their vehicle. All future communications with that visitor will be over the telephone or via IPAD teleconference. Hospital leadership will approve on-site visitor of patients who test positive for COVID-19 in special circumstances only.

    Obstetrics, pediatric inpatients, labor and delivery, and NICU inpatients:

    • Any visitor must be screened prior to entry with symptom/exposure questions and body temperature scan.
    • No visitor who is ill, sick, frail, elderly, or at-risk (i.e. immunocompromised or serious chronic illness).
    • No children will be permitted. Visitors must be 18 years of age or older.
    • Obstetrics and L&D: Patients will be limited to the same one visitor per patient for the entire stay (i.e. partner, doula).
      • Visitors must wear cloth or surgical facemasks at all times inside the unit, only removing their mask to eat. We strongly encourage visitors to wear their own masks so that we can preserve our supplies for staff and clinical workers.
    • Peds and NICU: Visitors will be limited to the same two people per patient for the entire stay (i.e. parent, guardian).
      • Level III NICU and Level II Nurseries/NICUs: Visitors must wear cloth or surgical facemasks at all times inside the unit, only removing their masks to eat. We strongly encourage visitors to wear their own masks so that we can preserve our supplies for staff and clinical workers.

    Inpatient/Outpatient Rehab:

    • The same one patient visitor is permitted for the patient’s entire stay. The patient will identify the visitor, who will be screened upon entry and must wear a facemask and badge.

    Skilled Nursing Facility (SNU) patients:

    • Follow long-term care visitation guidelines below. Screening will take place at the entrance of the facility.
    • FGH is temporarily restricting visitation at all long-term care facilities, including skilled nursing, personal care, and assisted and independent living settings. Visitors will be permitted only in special situations, approved by the facility administrator or designated manager. Special situations may include end-of-life visitation and when a visitor is essential for the resident’s emotional well-being and care.

    Behavioral health services (Pine Grove Behavioral Health Center and all inpatient behavioral health settings):

    • Will adhere to previous behavioral health guidelines.
    • One visitor will be permitted in the Emergency Department. The same one visitor of child patients (i.e. parent or guardian) is permitted in the Emergency Department.

    Providers deemed essential to a patient’s care and wellbeing, and vendors necessary for patient care and/or hospital operations, may enter facilities in some circumstances. Those granted access must follow the same screening guidelines as all permitted visitors.

    The following guidelines will apply:

    Clergy and Pastoral Care

    • Ongoing access to spiritual and pastoral care is considered an essential part of our patients’ care. FGH-employed chaplains continue to provide care on-site as usual, following our standard precautions. Local clergy and chaplains are permitted on-site to visit individuals from their religious communities and exercise the same precautions.
    • Like all employees and visitors who enter FGH facilities, local clergy will be screened upon entry. If screening temporarily restricts a member of the clergy from entry, they are encouraged to identify an alternate person who may provide the needed pastoral visitation.

    Hospice and Home Care Providers

    • Hospice and home care providers may be essential health care providers at long-term care settings where nursing and clinical staff are not providing around-the-clock care, such as independent and assisted living and personal care.
    • Hospice providers are additionally essential in skilled nursing facilities and hospitals when delivering direct patient care.

    Post-Acute Liaisons

    • Liaisons from non-FGH post-acute facilities, (TCM Nurses) such as long-term acute care, acute rehabilitation, and skilled nursing facilities, are restricted from working on-site in FGH facilities. ◦During this time, post-acute liaisons should continue to work closely with FGH case managers and/or social workers using virtual electronic and telephonic methods to ensure patients transition safely and efficiently to the next level of care.
      ◦Liaisons employed by FGH facilities will continue to work with their direct leadership on any changes to their work processes or environment.

    Vendors / Dock Deliveries

    • Only vendors providing services deemed essential will be able to enter FGH facilities via loading docks. Suppliers that are deemed essential and provided facility access via the loading dock will follow our facility entrance screening procedure, either at the dock or main facility entrance. Essential non-FGH delivery personnel are encouraged to wear an FGH-provided facemask while in the facility. ◦All other vendors will stage their deliveries at the loading dock as instructed by each facility. An FGH employee who has already been clinically screened for the day will then deliver internally.


    • Other essential on-site direct care and support providers may include:

    ◦ Adult Protective Services (APS).

    ◦ Children and Youth Services (CYS).

    ◦ Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

    ◦ Legal counsel, attorneys, when needed.

    ◦ Other, as approved by local command center.

    ◦ Police, when needed.

    ◦ Specialty pharmacies and durable medical equipment (DME) providers, for discharges.

    Highland Community Hospital, Marion General Hospital, Jefferson Davis Community Hospital, Walthall General Hospital, and Pearl River County Hospital & Nursing Home

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    Employment Policy: It is the policy of Forrest Health to recruit and select candidates for employment without regard to race, color, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity),
    religion, national origin, age, disability or other status protected by applicable federal or state statutes.

    A Board of Trustees appointed by the Forrest County Board of Supervisors is charged with the oversight of Forrest Health. The system is completely self supporting and does not operate on local taxes.
    Forrest Health facilities are approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for participation in Medicare and Medicaid Programs.