Visitor access restricted at Mercy hospitals to protect patients from coronavirus


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Mercy hospitals in Oklahoma will restrict visitor access starting Saturday, March 14, to prevent coronavirus from spreading to patients.

“Out of an abundance of caution, our next critical step in safeguarding our patients and co-workers is to begin enforcing restricted visitor access statewide. Effective at 6 a.m. Saturday, March 14, all Mercy hospitals in Oklahoma will limit access to one visitor per Mercy patient. Visitors will be allowed in Mercy hospitals 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Weekend hours may vary by location,” a Mercy news release states.

The one visitor that each patient is allowed must meet the following criteria:

  • Visitors must be 16 years or older.
  • Visitors must be fever-free.
  • Visitors must be cough-free.
  • After a patient’s one visitor leaves, another may enter.

However, exceptions will be made on a case by case basis, including visitors for patients who are near death.

“The safety of our patients, visitors and co-workers is of the utmost importance,” said Jim Gebhart, president of Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City and regional strategy officer for Mercy. “We realize this new policy may create an inconvenience for our visitors, but we must prevent unnecessary exposure to our patients and caregivers.”

The change to visitor access will not impact either hospital services or appointments patients have at physician offices in other buildings on the Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City campus, which include Coletta, Mercy Hospital Tower, McAuley, Plaza and Meinders NeuroScience Institute.

“There will be no direct visitor access to the hospital from these buildings,” the news release states.

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