In response to the novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, Tanner Health System is moving to fully prohibit visitors at Higgins General Hospital in Bremen.
This comes after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued an executive order closing visitation at all Alabama hospitals, including Tanner Medical Center/East Alabama in Wedowee.
The visitation closure at Higgins General Hospital will go into effect Saturday, March 21.
Full visitor limits may ultimately extend to its other facilities in Carrollton and Villa Rica as well.
Higgins General Hospital is a 25-bed critical access hospital. The hospital offers an active rehabilitation program that includes patients at increased risk of severe illness, including older patients.
The safety of our patients, staff, visitors and the community at large is our top priority, said Ben Camp, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Tanner. Closing this facility to visitation is a crucial step in that regard, freeing up resources we need for patient care and the safety of our staff.
Dr. Camp urged loved ones to make use of available technologies to stay in touch with loved ones in the hospital, including Facebook Messenger, Facetime and Google Duo.
Were all working with a new reality that encourages social distancing, he said. This is another way to leverage our technologies to stay involved while keeping everyone safe.
We appreciate the communitys support as we work to ensure everyones safety, said Dr. Camp. These are not measures we take lightly. We value including loved ones in our patients care. But protecting our patients, staff and visitors must be our priority.
Dr. Camp noted that the hospital would continue to make some compassionate exceptions, including for patients facing end-of-life care choices or those of limited capacity who need a caregiver around-the-clock.
More information on Tanners COVID-19 response can be found at tanner.org/ncov.