Baptist, Sacred Heart Hospitals Implement No Visitors Policy; West Florida Delays Elective Surgeries

July 14, 2020

West Florida Hospital has delayed all elective surgeries, as Ascension Sacred Heart and Baptist hospitals returned to a no visitors policy, due to the spread of COVID-19.

Ascension Sacred Heart Statement:

The health and safety of our patients, associates and visitors is our top priority. Because of the significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in our community, we have decided to temporarily impose additional restrictions to limit the number of visitors entering our Pensacola hospital.

Effective Wednesday, July 15 at 6 a.m. CT, we will be suspending patient visitation at Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola.

Exceptions may be made for:
– Pediatric/Neonatal ICU patients: Two designated parents or guardians may visit, but only one at a time.
– Patients with disabilities or impairments or who are elderly: One visitor.
– Women giving birth: One partner
– Patients requiring surgery or other medical procedures: One visitor.
– Patients presenting to the Emergency Department: One family member or friend.
– Patients receiving end-of-life care: One visitor.

All visitors must be at least 18 years of age.

We will continue to require all staff and visitors to wear a mask inside the hospital. We also will continue to screen all permitted visitors, including temperature checks.

We encourage families and friends of our patients to communicate through the use of cell phones and apps for virtual visits. We have added these temporary restrictions with great reluctance. However, these steps are necessary to limit the numbers of people in our hospitals, and protect our patients, visitors, care teams and community to control the spread of this highly contagious virus. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation for the common good. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation for the common good.

West Florida Hospital Statement:

As positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Florida and here in our area, West Florida Hospital is taking proactive action in order to position our hospital to better serve the immediate health care needs of our community. Beginning Thursday, July 16, West Florida Hospital will temporarily defer the scheduling of elective surgeries as a measure to increase hospital bed capacity. This measure will be implemented as part of established hospital surge plans and is being done to ensure our care teams can continue to deliver safe, effective, and compassionate care to our patients experiencing both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 health concerns. This change does not affect surgeries scheduled to take place before July 16, 2020. West Florida Hospital will continue with Urgent and Emergent surgery. Low acuity surgeries that were scheduled on or after July 16, 2020 will be appropriately deferred at a surgeon’s discretion, hospital policy and in consultation with the patient. The deferred cases will be concentrated in low acuity and those that may require an overnight stay at the hospital.

We are confident in our hospital’s ability to care for the community as the pandemic evolves in Florida and here in our area. Again, this step is proactive to ensure our readiness as we monitor the capacity in our hospital, which fluctuates daily, and the reported COVID-19 positive cases around the state. West Florida Hospital will work with our surgeons to evaluate the status of each elective surgery on a weekly basis and will work to reschedule as soon as possible.

Baptist Hospital Statement:

Because the recent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in our state and local area threatens the health of everyone, Baptist Health Care has revised its visitation policy. Effective Wednesday, July 15 at 5 a.m., no visitors will be permitted at Baptist, Gulf Breeze and Jay Hospitals, Baptist Towers and all Baptist Health Care medical parks, urgent care centers and physician offices. Visitor exceptions will be made for end-of-life situations, critical caregivers and essential support persons.

The visitation policy includes limited entry doors. All patients and authorized support persons entering any Baptist Health Care location must wear a mask, be screened and have a temperature check. They should allow extra time upon arrival for this screening. Screening stations are set up at select entrances of all locations.”


4 Responses to “Baptist, Sacred Heart Hospitals Implement No Visitors Policy; West Florida Delays Elective Surgeries”

  1. David Huie Green on July 20th, 2020 12:50 pm

    “If speculation was a vaccine…we all would be cured.
    That includes self proclaimed prophets of politics and medicine”

    But speculation is not a vaccine — not that a vaccine cures those already sick.

    And I fail to see how it is unreasonable to assume infectious diseases will infect if person to person contact increases or how reporting what people are on record as saying is other than simple fact. Governor DeSantis justified opening up contact based on his statement that the CEOs of major hospitals told him they now had more room in ICUs. Many are at fully filled now.

    David Huie Green for understanding simple things

  2. David on July 16th, 2020 6:39 pm

    One thing I can say about this virus…everyone is an expert at knowing anything knows nothing…
    If speculation was a vaccine…we all would be cured.
    That includes self proclaimed prophets of politics and medicine
    That is the real virus

  3. David Huie Green on July 15th, 2020 2:39 pm

    Our governor said he spoke to the CEOs of various hospitals and they assured him they had room in their ICUs for more patients and that was why he was opening things up.

    It worked like a charm, he managed to fill those rooms in short order.

    David for keeping them closer to empty

  4. TL on July 15th, 2020 9:11 am

    So…. why are we still debating masks again?