Onslow Memorial Hospital seeing ‘525% increase’ in COVID-19 cases, limitations now issued on visitations


JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Onslow Memorial Hospital’s Media and Communications Coordinator said the number of COVID-19 cases there is skyrocketing. As a result, there is a new limit in place for hospital visitations.

Sophia Bodo said in an email release Thurday that there were 25 COVID-19 positive patients. It’s the highest number of cases seen since Feb. 2 and is a 525% increase since this time last month. She also said the hospital averaged six cases in June, seven in July and 20 through the first five days of August.

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“We attribute this increase to the spread of the Delta variant and low vaccination rates in our county,” Bodo said in an email.

Bodo also said there were 27 employees out due to COVID-19 related illnesses and exposures. Because of this, the hospital imposed an immediate change to its hospital visitation. They are as follows:

COVID Positive Patients and PUIs – No visitors at this time.

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Non-COVID patients: One designated, screened companion (18 or older) per patient for the duration of his/her stay will be permitted. Approved companions are not required to stay at the hospital, but are encouraged to limit the number of times they enter and exit during visiting hours. NICU and pediatric patients can have two designated visitors assigned, but only one visitor at a time. Exceptions will be granted for end-of-life situations at the discretion of the CNO or the nursing supervisor if after 5 p.m. Visiting hours will be from 8 am – 8 pm each day.

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Outpatient Departments and Clinics: Outpatient and clinic areas will allow one adult companion per patient, but we continue to encourage individuals who are able to come alone to do so in order to support physical distancing efforts.

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Emergency Department: COVID Positive Patients and PUIs – No visitors at this time. Non-COVID patients: One designated, screened companion per patient for the duration of his/her Emergency Department visit will be allowed. Only screened and approved visitors will be allowed in the lobby areas. Exceptions will be granted for end-of-life situations at the discretion of the Emergency Department leadership. Visiting hours do not apply in the Emergency Department.

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Labor Checks: Patients presenting to OMH for a labor check will be allowed one, screened companion. All approved companions must pass a health screening and will be subject to a health screening at any time. An appropriate mask will be provided to companions during the screening process if they don’t already have one. Companions will be required to wear the mask at all times and will not be allowed to remain in the hospital or clinic without one regardless of the reason they provide for being unable to wear a mask. Additional restrictions are as follows:

  • No one under the age of 18 will be allowed to visit for the foreseeable future.
  • The number of entrances to the hospital will be limited. Entrances include:
    • Main lobby
    • Emergency Department for emergency department patients
    • Ambulatory Surgery Unit for ambulatory surgery patients
    • Onslow Radiation Oncology
  • No companion with fever, cough, cold or flu-like symptoms may enter an OMH facility.
  • Companions should not visit our campus if they have come into contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days or who has been recently tested for COVID-19.
  • Visitors will be required to wear a mask at all times and will not be allowed to remain in the hospital or clinic without one.

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