Kentucky hospitals reviewing visitation policies as COVID-19 cases decrease

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 12:03 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - COVID-19 cases are declining statewide and some hospitals are now reviewing their visitation policies.

Some are easing restrictions, but others, including those in Lexington, say it’s not time yet.

At Baptist Health Lexington, visitations are still limited compared to before the pandemic. However, with cases on the decline, that might not be the case for much longer.

“Our numbers, clearly, for COVID are half what they were a week ago,” said Dr. James Borders, chief medical officer.

Dr. Borders says there are currently two patients on a ventilator and active hospitalized cases are in the low 20s. He hopes the next few weeks will bring a return to more normal visitations.

Still, Borders says the change back could be slower compared to less urban areas, as Lexington has more resources and, in return, more COVID-19 patients.

“We’re learned the hard way in this pandemic that what we thought was in the rear view mirror comes right in front of us,” Dr. Borders said. “So, something could change and our best laid plans could fall to waste.”

UK Hosptial, visitation isn’t back to normal either. One person is allowed to see a patient at a time. A patient can pick two people to visit per stay.

For all hospitals, as for Baptist Health Lexington, it seems to be a battle between physical presence and safety.

“It’s simply that, at the same time, we recognize that visitors carry with them potentially the virus we are all so desperate to rid ourselves of,” Dr. Borders said.

Baptist Health Corbin brought back open visiting hours, starting Monday. It’s still restricted, with one visitor per patient. However, before that, no visitors were allowed at all in most cases.

Just last week, Baptist Health Lexington also allowed doulas to return. They’re healthcare professionals who support obstetrics patients.

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