MILFORD – With COVID-19 cases on the rise again and concerns about the transmissibility of the omicron variant mount, Milford Regional Medical Center has taken further steps to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Administrators have put in place new restrictions on visitors to all areas of the hospital, starting this week. The medical center said COVID-19 is “very widespread” in the community, and the restrictions are designed to protect patients, employees and medical staff from possible further exposure.
“We have had a mask policy for some time now. As of May, as per state guidelines, masks must be worn inside the hospital at all times,” said Donna Boynton, Interim Marketing Manager at MRMC, via email Tuesday. “The most recent change happened on Monday, when we restricted visitors to all areas of the hospital, with a few exceptions.”
In general, all visitors are restricted with the exception of parents or guardians of patients under the age of 18, patient advocates, accompanying persons with intellectual or physical disabilities, and clergy.
For maternity patients, a support partner can accompany them during appointments, and a birth partner will be authorized during childbirth. For compassionate care situations including, but not limited to, end of life, visitation decisions will be made in consultation with the patient’s care team and loved ones.
Exceptions for visitors must still pass COVID-19 screening. For details on hospital policies related to COVID, including newly implemented restrictions, visit https://www.milfordregional.org/coronavirus-covid-19-update/
Nicole Thyne, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Milford Regional, noted in a statement that 22% of hospital inpatients at the hospital test positive for COVID-19, and “only a small number of those patients are vaccinated “.
The medical center has 149 approved beds, including 10 for patients requiring ICU level care.
“For a while we stayed at a high level of occupancy in the medical center with a wide variety of conditions,” Thyne said.
“Due to the high demand for health services, and in particular for inpatient beds, the MRMC – like all facilities in Massachusetts – has had to make changes to services such as surgery, in order to preserve beds for patients. unplanned admissions, ”she continued.
Medical staff have worked to smooth the surgical schedule for patients who may need hospitalization as a result of their procedures – a schedule that Thyne says “allows the MRMC to continue providing these essential urgent services.”
The hospital is prepared for increased demand for its services, with projections showing that “the unprecedented high demand for hospital resources does not appear to be abating”.
“In fact, we think it will continue and increase as winter approaches,” Thyne noted. “As a result, the MRMC has activated an internal disaster preparedness response. This means Incident Command will manage the coordinated response to planning for what may happen this winter.”
The coordinated effort, she explained, “ensures that resources will be available when needed to continue providing high quality care” to patients.
Hospital officials are urging community members to get vaccinated, if they haven’t already, and to be vigilant about how the holidays are celebrated with family and friends. For anything other than small gatherings with only vaccinated people, the hospital “strongly recommends” the use of masks indoors.