Visitor Limits Imposed Friday at Tower Hospitals

WEST READING PA – Fast-spreading coronavirus infections that have risen among Pennsylvania residents since late September prompted Tower Health to severely limit patient visitation privileges at its hospitals – including Pottstown and Phoenixville – beginning Friday (Nov. 27, 2020). No visitors “except those deemed medically necessary” will be allowed into its facilities, it said.

“As cases surge in our hospitals and communities, we must prioritize the health and safety of our patients and team members,” Dr. Debra Powell, section chief of infectious disease and infection prevention medical director at Tower’s Reading Hospital, explained. “As a community we must remain vigilant to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The visitor policy update, issued Tuesday (Nov. 24), is accompanied by a lengthy list of circumstances with which Tower provides some exceptions to the rules. They can be found here, and apply specifically to situations in hospital adult inpatient units; neonatal intensive care units, inpatient pediatric units, emergency departments and psychiatric emergency departments, and physician practices; maternity units; religious services; and ambulatory care settings.

In general, patient care teams will decide on a case-by-case basis whether having a visitor is clinically appropriate, including when the visitor is a family member supporting the patient by providing care, the update added. All approved visitors will be screened under guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Pennsylvania Department of Health, it stated.

Additionally:

  • All activities that invite community members to any Tower Health facility for events or educational programs are canceled until further notice;
  • Volunteer services will be restricted to only those that are clinically required;
  • Permitted vendors will be restricted to only the clinically necessary, including those working on active projects, repairs, technology, or equipment; and
  • Delivery of food, flowers, or other items from outside sources will be restricted.

Tower also noted the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, so later policy changes are possible subject to state and federal guidance.

Powell urged the public to “continue to wear your mask, wash your hands with soap and water, or alcohol-based sanitizer if soap is not available, and practice social distancing.”

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