(Verbatim Release) JACKSON – Effective Monday at noon, the University of Mississippi Medical Center will restrict visitors at its Jackson-based hospitals in an effort to lessen the spread of the novel coronavirus and help ensure the safety of patients, visitors, employees and students.
As of Saturday, the Mississippi State Department of Health had announced six presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Mississippi cases currently cover the counties of Forrest, Leflore, Copiah and Pearl River. It is generally accepted that Mississippi is experiencing community spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus
Medical Center leadership is enacting a revised visitor policy for all UMMC hospitals. The primary restrictions being put in place are:
Adult patients are not permitted to have visitors except in certain circumstances according to hospital visitation policies.
Pediatric patients (Children’s of Mississippi) are permitted to have only two adult visitors, but both must be parents, guardians or caregivers.
Temporary visitor restrictions are already in effect for UMMC Grenada and UMMC Holmes County. The Jackson hospitals are University Hospital, Wiser Hospital for Women and Infants, Batson Children’s Hospital and Conerly Critical Care Hospital.
Read breaking coverage of COVID-19 in Mississippi, plus safety tips, cancellations, more in the JFP's archive.
Also, beginning Monday, there will be only two entrances for patients and visitors of the Jackson-based hospitals:
• The front entrance of University Hospital (under the overhang facing State Street near Garage A)
• The side entrance to Wiser Hospital for Women and Children (under the overhang facing Garage B)
Patients and visitors will be screened at those two entrances. Patients who exhibit symptoms associated with respiratory illness (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath) or report they have recently visited an area identified as a location experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak will receive further evaluation to determine next steps. Visitors that meet any of these criteria will not be allowed to enter under any circumstances.
Along with the person doing the screening, also present at these two entrances will be a Campus Police officer and a patient experience representative. The entrances for University Heart, Adult and Pediatric EDs and the Pavilion will be open, but will not provide patients and visitors access to hospitals.
Restrictions and entry screenings also apply to patients and visitors needing to enter a hospital for a hospital-based clinic or procedure appointments.
For more information about COVID-19 in Mississippi and preparations by UMMC, click here.