Updated on June 19, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.
As West Virginia continues to ease coronavirus-related restrictions this week under Gov. Jim Justice’s safer-at-home order, including nursing home visitations, some hospitals in the state are choosing to keep their doors shut to most visitors.
This week, WVU Medicine announced it would begin easing visitation restrictions at their hospitals statewide — except WVU Medicine East in the Eastern Panhandle.
A zero visitation policy remains in effect at Berkeley Medical Center and Jefferson Medical Center, with exceptions for end-of-life care, pediatrics, the neonatal intensive care unit, and obstetrics patients. To enter the hospital, everyone is required to wear a mask at all times.
The two medical centers are the only hospitals to serve Berkeley and Jefferson Counties, with the exception of the Martinsburg VA Medical Center.
WVU Medicine said in a news release the decision to keep the no visitor policy in place in the Eastern Panhandle was because the region continues to see an increase in coronavirus cases.
Berkeley County has seen the highest number of new positive cases in the state for weeks.
Charleston Area Medical Center Health System has had a no visitor policy in place since March, but that changed on Jun. 15, 2020 when the health system began implementing a phased reopening for visitations. The health system will enter phase II of its reopening on Monday.
Mon Health System, however, began easing its visitation restrictions on June 9, requiring all visitors to wear masks and to be screened at the entrance. To date, visitors under 18 are still prohibited, and visitors will be asked to use hand sanitizer before and after visiting a patient’s room or the facility.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from Marshall Health and Charleston Area Medical Center.