Hartford HealthCare Restricts Visitation Amid Coronavirus Spread

Officials Ban Visitation for Hartford Healthcare Nursing Homes

Daniela Doncel
March 10, 2020 - 2:16 pm
Dr. Ajay Kumar speaks at Hartford HealthCare Care Logistics Center

Daniela Doncel

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NEWINGTON, Conn. (WTIC Radio) - Hartford HealthCare officials announced new visitation restrictions for patients Tuesday in an effort to prepare for and prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including the ban of visitors for those living in nursing homes.

Visitation is banned for all of Hartford HealthCare nursing home facilities, though exceptions will be made for certain scenarios where the individual needs to see their family, such as end of life, according to officials. Visitation restrictions will also be placed for those who are in assisted living.

For patients at hospitals and other facilities, visitation is limited to one visitor per patient. Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Ajay Kumar says visitors will be screened before seeing the patient to learn of any recent travel-related circumstances and to evaluate their health. If the visitor is exhibiting any concerning symptoms, Kumar says measures will be taken to make sure the visitor is taken care of.

Kumar says the extra measures to restrict visitation for those in nursing homes is being done because the elderly are at higher risk to contract the virus given other health issues.

The restrictions are expected to remain in place for several weeks and will be changed or lifted when new developments come out about the coronavirus, Kumar says.

Officials made the announcement at the Care Logistics Center in Newington which is serving as Hartford HealthCare's COVID-19 Clinical Command Center. It is a 24-hour call center that provides information about the virus nationwide. Care Logistics Center Vice President Elizabeth Ciotti says the center has received over one thousand calls from patients, clinicians and concerned family members from across the country.

Along with the call center, Hartford HealthCare is launching a texting service where people can text the word "COVID19" to 31996 to get the latest information about the virus and what steps Hartford HealthCare is taking to prepare.