As of this week, family members and friends can once again visit patients at TidalHealth Peninsula Regional -- the first time inpatient visitation has been allowed since it was suspended in March 2020 when the first Covid-19 cases were diagnosed locally.
The change in the visitation policy comes as Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland has achieved the milestone of vaccinating more than 85 percent of adults with at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. The state is outpacing the national rate of 78.9 percent of adults with at least one dose.
“Thanks to the millions of Marylanders who have rolled up their sleeves over the past 10 months, Maryland is one of the most vaccinated states in America,” said Hogan. “We have achieved these numbers with strong public health outreach, innovative lottery and scholarship promotions, and a relentless focus on equity.”
State health officials continue to finalize plans for the approval of booster shots for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, as well as the authorization of vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds. To find a vaccine clinic, visit covidvax.maryland.gov or visit 1-855-MD-GOVAX (1-855-634-6829).
TidalHealth will now allow one visitor, over the age of 18, per patient during the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., seven days a week.
Visitors are required at all times to wear a facemask that covers both their nose and mouth. People who are unable to wear a face covering should not visit. Gaiters and bandanas will not be permitted. A mask will be provided for those visitors arriving with either of the two unapproved face coverings.
Upon entry, visitors will be screened for fever and other Covid-19 symptoms. Anyone who is feeling ill or feverish should not visit and will not be allowed to proceed to a patient floor if they are found to have a fever or symptoms.
If the patient is confirmed to have Covid-19 or under investigation for Covid-19, visitation will not be permitted, however, end of life accommodations will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
The hospital will provide each guest a visitation card that must be returned at the conclusion of their visit to the same reception desk from which it was obtained. Failure to do so will result in that patient not being allowed additional visitors until the card is returned.
Visitors will not be permitted to wait inside any TidalHealth lobby prior to visiting hours or while waiting for entry into a patient’s room if already occupied by a guest. Visitors are encouraged to wait in their vehicles and to coordinate visitation times with loved ones and friends to avoid an overlap of guests.
The same policies went into effect at TidalHealth Nanticoke in Seaford.
“We have worked very hard throughout the Covid-19 crisis to protect the health of our patients and staff. Our personal protective equipment, social distancing and deep cleaning efforts have helped. We know it has been very difficult for many of our patients to go through medical procedures and recovery without the limited support of a loved one,” said Dr. Sarah Arnett, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at TidalHealth.
At TidalHealth Peninsula Regional, visitors should enter via the Hanna Main Entrance (adjacent to the Emergency Department), located near the Visitor Parking Garage off Vine Street.
In the Labor and Delivery and Mother/Baby units, one support person and one approved and certified doula are allowed to accompany the birthing mother.
As of Monday, Oct. 18, Wicomico County has had 10,824 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 211 deaths.
Health officials also reported that 49,221 Wicomico residents, 47.5 percent of the population, have received the first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, 45,313, or 43.7 percent, have gotten a second dose and 4,283, or 4.1 percent, got a Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine.
The patient count in Somerset is now 3288 with 52 deaths. First doses of vaccine have gone to 11,194 residents, 43.6 percent of the population, while 9,960, or 38.8 percent, have gotten second doses and 1,147, or 4.4 percent, got single doses.
Additional cases have also been confirmed in Worcester County, which now reports 4,933 people as having the virus and 116 deaths. So far 32,080 people, 61.3 percent of the population, have gotten their first shots, 29,604, or 56.6 percent, had a second dose and 2,692, or 5.1 percent, got a single dose.
Statewide in Maryland, 551,264 cases have been confirmed, with 10,490 confirmed deaths and 232 probable deaths. The current hospitalization totals of people with the virus stands at 685. The number of people in intensive care is 184.
Across Maryland, more than 4.3 million people have tested negative for the virus.
As of Monday, the state has administered more than 8.1 million doses of vaccine, with more than 3.9 million people now fully vaccinated and 85.2 percent of the population with at least one dose.
Nationally, there are now more than 44.9 million cases with 724,323 deaths. Roughly 189.1 million people in the U.S. – 57.6 percent of the population -- are fully vaccinated.