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Hospital Begins Limited Visitation amid Oklahoma Reopening


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma City-based hospital system on Tuesday began allowing limited visitation to most patients, including those with the coronavirus, as the state continues to reopen.

Integris Health said some patients can designate one person as a “patient representative” who can visit between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily.

Patients in obstetrics, pediatrics and neonatal intensive care may have two representatives, but no visitors will be allowed for patients in isolation except for those near death.

The representative must be 18 or older and follow hospital health safety rules that include hand washing and wearing masks. The statement did not address whether the visitors would be allowed to touch the patients or if social distancing guidelines would be enforced, and a spokesperson did not immediately return phone calls for comment.

Gov. Kevin Stitt’s reopening plan allows the patient representatives in hospitals “subject to any screening procedures required by the facility including temperature screenings, observance of hand hygiene practices, and the wearing of their own mask at all times while in the facility.”

The policy is considered strict and likely will remain so “because we have the most vulnerable health population in the state,” said Dr. David Chansolme, medical director of infection prevention at Integris.

“These are the sickest people,” with the least immunity to infection, Chansolme said.

The hospital’s waiting rooms and common areas will remain closed.

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