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story.lead_photo.caption Mercy Hospital

FAYETTEVILLE -- Northwest Arkansas hospitals say they will halt most visitations to prevent the spread of covid-19, according to news releases.

Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas in Rogers and Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville were already screening and limiting visitors and limiting entrances into their hospitals. Mercy also stopped allowing walk-ins at most of its clinics. New policies announced Monday set further restrictions.

Mercy Hospital

No visitors will be allowed, with the following exceptions:

• For patients receiving end-of-life care at the discretion of the physician.

• One support person for laboring mothers.

[CORONAVIRUS: Click here for our complete coverage » arkansasonline.com/coronavirus]

• One parent per pediatric or neonatal intensive care patient at a time.

• One visitor for patients in wheelchairs and those needing special assistance.

• One escort for visitors in wheelchairs.

• One visitor or driver for patients undergoing urgent procedures.

Visitors who meet any of the exceptions also must be at least 18, not have a fever or cough and submit to a wellness check, according to the news release. Visitation hours will be 6 a.m to 7 p.m.

A doula may count as a laboring mother's support person, meaning a laboring mother cannot have a doula and another person, said Jennifer Cook, Mercy spokeswoman. A doula is a person who provides guidance and support to a pregnant woman during labor.

The restrictions also apply to Mercy's clinics and Mercy Hospital in Berryville. The new policy goes into effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday at the Rogers hospital.

Emergency room patients at Mercy's emergency rooms in Rogers, Berryville, Springdale and Bella Vista will be allowed one visitor if they are in critical condition or are in a wheelchair and require assistance. Children may be accompanied by one parent.

Washington Regional Medical Center

Patients who meet the exception requirements listed below will be allowed one visitor who must be at least 18 and pass a coronavirus screening.

• Patients receiving end-of-life care.

• Obstetric patients.

• Minors.

• Neo-natal intensive care unit patients.

• Patients undergoing an urgent or emergency surgical procedure.

• Emergency department patients who are in critical condition.

Northwest Health

Northwest Health had already issued plans to only allow well, essential visitors such as immediate family, partner or significant other and children 13 and older to visit patients in its five Northwest Arkansas hospitals, according to a news release.

Visitors are limited to one per adult patient. Patients in the neonatal intensive care unit may have up to two visitors. Patients in isolation will have additional visitor restrictions, according to the news release.

Visitors will be asked a series of questions. Visitors with risk factors for coronavirus and those who have a fever or symptoms of a respiratory illness will not be allowed to visit.

Northwest Health also has limited entrances.

Metro on 03/25/2020

Print Headline: NW hospitals to halt visitors, report says

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