Highest Rates of COVID-19 Cases at HCMC Require Changes to Visitation Policy Effective Immediately

PARIS, TN – With 20 COVID-19 positive inpatients and a continued stream of positive cases in the county, Henry County Medical Center has made the decision to return to NO VISITORS at our facility effective immediately, Thursday, November 12, 2020.

The only exceptions will be needed caregivers or support persons such as a driver or parent of a patient under 18 years of age. Some special circumstances may apply and will be approved on a case-by-case basis, mainly End-Of-Life situations.

Other changes to the visitation policy are as follows:

  • Entrances to HCMC: There will only be 3 Patient/Support Person entrances to HCMC; the entrance from the patient parking lot/bridge, the front circle entrance, and the Emergency Department entrance. All other entrances will be locked to patients and visitors.
  • Entrance Hours: The two front entrances will be locked daily to patients/support persons from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. and will be locked on the weekends starting at 5 p.m. on Friday to open at 5 a.m. on Monday. The Emergency Department entrance will be open 24 hours a day.
  • Visitor Badge & Temperature: Anyone entering the facility as a patient or support person of the patient must check in at one of the desks and receive a Visitor Badge and have his/her temperature taken. Anyone with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees will be asked to leave the facility. Additionally, we will begin asking a series of questions about possible exposure or pending test results for COVID-19 for anyone coming into facility.
  • Women’s Center (OB Unit): During labor, 2 persons will be allowed. After birth and recovery, 3 visitors will be allowed and limited to grandparents of the newborn.
    • Special Care Nursery: Only the mother and father will be allowed for visitation. No grandparents or other immediate family.
  • HCMC Iris Cafe will be closed to the public. Partners and allowed visitors per guidelines ONLY.
  • HCMC Pink Petal Gift Shop: Hours of operation to be announced and only open to those allowed in the facility.
  • Lake Haven Behavioral Center: No visitors allowed.
  • Outpatient and Inpatient Surgery: One visitor/driver is allowed with surgery patients, with one person able to visit for an hour after inpatient surgery.
  • Critical Care Unit: No visitors allowed except special circumstances such as End-of-Life situations.

Again, the Emergency Room Visitation Policy is still in effect:

No visitation to be allowed in the ER rooms unless:

  • There is a need for a caregiver.
  • The patient is under age and needs a parent.
  • Or, there are special circumstances approved by the medical provider (physician or midlevel) treating the patient.

The HCMC Surgery Center Visitation Policy is as follows:

  • NO visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed at the HCMC Surgery Center.
  • Support people or caregivers will be asked to wait in their vehicles until the patient is discharged.
  • If you are experiencing any symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, body aches or if you have been in any area where you may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus) DO NOT ENTER THIS FACILITY and potentially expose your loved one, friend, or any of the staff to this potentially deadly virus.

The HCMC Diagnostic Center Visitation Policy is as follows:

  • If you have a fever or cough, PLEASE DO NOT ENTER.
  • Call the Diagnostic Center and you will be given instructions on how to proceed. The number is 731-644-8233.
  • Only ONE support person per OB ultrasound patient will be allowed in the Diagnostic Center. NO ONE WILL BE ALLOWED TO WAIT IN THE WAITING ROOM.
  • To protect all patients, NO CHILDREN WILL BE ALLOWED under the age of 18 in Diagnostic Center unless they are the patient.
  • Mandatory temperature checks will be taken on all patients entering the HCMC Diagnostic Center.

Support persons and caregivers who do not have special permission to be with the patient will be asked to wait in their vehicles for the patients having testing, procedures, or surgery.  This is also the case for the Emergency Room. 

HCMC Center for Wellness & Rehab has also been following a very similar policy and is as follows:

  • If you have a fever or cough, PLEASE DO NOT ENTER.
  • NO visitors under the age of 18.
  • Mandatory temperature checks will be taken on all patients entering HCMC Center for Wellness & Rehab.

HCMC In Home Equipment + Supplies, our Durable Medical Equipment Services, is currently doing business as usual delivering to client homes as well as HCMC, Provider Clinics, and HCHC & Plumley Rehab.  The retail location on East Wood Street is locked, but customers can either call 731-644-8410 for entry or they can knock on the door and someone will meet them.  If customers wish to enter the building, they will be screened according to HCMC guidelines for entrance into the facility.  For those who prefer not to enter, staff can meet them at their vehicle in the parking lot of HCMC In Home Equipment + Supplies and we will deliver to the vehicle.  We do ask that you call the number ahead of time with make and model as well as date and time you plan to arrive.  Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with staff on-call for emergencies after hours and on the weekend.

HCMC Cardiac Rehab has also implemented new guidelines to keep patients safe during this time.  These guidelines are as follows:

  • Stay home if you are not feeling well. If you have fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, or fatigue, please stay home.
  • Mandatory temperature checks will be taken on all patients entering Cardiac Rehab.
  • No more than 10 people total are allowed in Cardiac Rehab at one time.
  • Please limit exercise to ONE hour to allow for other patients to exercise within our patient limits based on our new guidelines.
  • Continue to clean equipment before and after exercising and wash your hands with soap and water where available or hand sanitizer.

Safety protocols put in place regarding care include, but are not limited to:

  • All individuals entering Henry County Medical Center facilities, including partners and providers, will continue to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms including temperature checks daily.
  • All individuals entering Henry County Medical Center will be asked to wear a mask. Patients and visitors are asked to bring their own masks. If they do not have one available, one will be provided based on supplies available at the hospital, Surgery Center, and Diagnostic Center.
  • Six-foot social distances will continue in public areas such as waiting rooms.
  • Extra cleaning and disinfection of high-touch, public surface areas will continue.
  • Infectious patients will continue to be cared for in isolation, away from non-infectious patients.
  • Surveillance statistics of our community and regional area will be monitored for trends and stability.
  • Utilization of hospital beds, ventilators, and PPE will be monitored to ensure ability if there is a need.

To remain prepared, HCMC will monitor its supplies and its ability to procure supplies.  HCMC will also maintain established guidelines for occupancy availability. We will continually evaluate and monitor to ensure patient safety and surveillance needs. In addition, HCMC will collaborate with the medical staff and the TN Department of Health and the Henry County Health Department to continually evaluate incidences and trends of COVID-19 cases within Henry County and the surrounding area.

As schedules continue to change, HCMC will keep patients informed through our website, www.hcmc-tn.org and on our social media platforms.

HCMC continues to update daily our chart on our website that provides information on testing, hospitalizations, and deaths within our organization.  It can be found at www.hcmc-tn.org.  We are additionally posting on our social media platforms a daily update that provides information about COVID-19 at HCMC, TN, KY, the counties our organization serves, as well as statistics from the Henry County Health Department.  Both will be updated and available by 6 p.m. daily.

HCMC Administration continues to follow the CDC guidelines as well as the TN Department of Health guidelines to ensure the safety of our patients, families, partners, and community.

How you can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses such as Coronavirus:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then discard in a trash.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your health care provider.  To learn more, go to our website at www.hcmc-tn.org or go to the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html

Located in Paris, TN, Henry County Medical Center is a progressive, integrated healthcare organization committed to serving the healthcare needs of Henry County and the adjoining region.  Including a 142-bed hospital and other facilities, the medical center provides a variety of outpatient services, as well as inpatient care. Additionally, HCMC owns and operates 8 provider clinics in various specialties.  Henry County Medical Center is a county-owned and operated nonprofit institution. For more information: www.hcmc-tn.org.