Starr Regional Medical Center Announces Visitation Policy Updates
August 20, 2021
Starr Regional Medical Center - Athens announced today that it is transitioning to limited visitation protocol, effective Monday, August 23, 2021. The decision to update the visitation policy was made as a result of the notable increase in COVID-19 cases in McMinn County and its surrounding communities. The updated policy allows inpatients to have only two well visitors. Patients requiring outpatient or emergency services may have only one accompanying person if required for support. A parent or guardian must be present with pediatric patients at all times.
“Our hospital’s top priority is protecting the health and wellbeing of patients, providers, employees and our community,” said John McLain, Chief Executive Officer of Starr Regional Medical Center. “It is necessary for us to adapt our operations to safely care for and support our patients as McMinn County is currently an area of high transmission, particularly among the unvaccinated. Limiting visitation in our facility, as well as continuing our enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols, help us to ensure a safe environment of care. I also want to encourage our community members to take the necessary precautions we know are effective in slowing the spread of this virus, including staying home when sick, wearing a mask in public spaces, practicing proper handwashing, social distancing and most importantly, getting vaccinated.”
General visiting hours on the Athens campus are 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Visitors will be screened for symptoms consistent with COVID-19, per CDC guidelines. Children under the age of 12 should refrain from visiting. Visitors are not allowed for patients who are high-risk, on isolation precautions or immunocompromised, or for patients who are under observation or test positive for COVID-19. Visitation hours and guidelines for patients in the Intensive Care Unit differ from the general visitation policy. Visit StarrRegional.com/visitor-policy for additional details.
The updated visitation policy also allows patients seeking outpatient and emergency services on the Etowah campus to have a support individual present when necessary. Starr Regional Health & Rehabilitation allows in-person visitation based on state and federal guidelines as well as the positivity rate within the facility and McMinn County. Appointments are required for visitation and may be made by calling 423-263-3791. The Senior Care program remains at a zero-visitation protocol.
For additional information on how to prevent exposure and the spread of COVID-19 or updates on how the hospital is working to maintain a safe and supportive environment during the pandemic, please visit our COVID-19 preparedness page. To find a location where you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine, check www.vaccines.gov.