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FirstHealth Restricting Visitation in Emergency Departments; Safety Remains Top Priority as COVID-19 Cases Rise

| Date Posted: 12/10/2020

PINEHURST, N.C. - With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise across the Sandhills, FirstHealth of the Carolinas will no longer allow visitors to accompany patients in its emergency departments effective Friday, December 11.


With emergency room visits on the rise, the updated visitation policy is necessary in order to keep patients, visitors and staff safe from a potential exposure to a COVID-19 positive person. FirstHealth’s top priority is the safety of the patients being seen in emergency departments at its hospitals in Pinehurst, Raeford, Richmond and Troy.


There will be exceptions to the updated visitation policy, including end-of-life situations, minors and patients requiring family support. Any visitor granted an exception will be subject to health screening before they enter a FirstHealth emergency department and they must wear a mask at all times.


No visitors under the age of 18 are allowed, and no visitation is allowed for COVID-19 positive patients or patients who are under investigation, except during end-of-life situations.


Other safety measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 remain in place at all FirstHealth facilities. Patients, visitors and staff will be temperature screened prior to entering, and all are required to wear a face mask throughout their time in the hospital or clinic.  


Visitors should not visit FirstHealth locations if they have one or more of the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, or if they have come in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days.


If you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills or fatigue, download FirstHealth On the Go to meet with a physician virtually.


FirstHealth’s updated visitation policy allows the following:


  • Hospital Inpatient, Surgery and ICU patients — One healthy adult support person. Patients are encouraged to identify one support person for the duration of their stay.
  • Hospital Outpatient (for example, lab testing, imaging or cardiology testing at a FirstHealth hospital) — One healthy adult support person.
  • Emergency Department — No visitors.
  • Women & Children’s — One healthy adult support person for laboring and obstetric patients for the duration of their stay.
  • All FirstHealth Clinics — One healthy adult support person, but we encourage visitors to wait in their car to limit the number of people in the waiting room.


Learn more about FirstHealth's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ways you can stay safe and how to get tested. 

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