Coronavirus: Area hospitals, including Children’s, begin visitor restrictions

Dayton Children's Hospital and the region's adult-patient hospitals will ramp up visitor restrictions and begin interviewing relatives to make sure they aren't exhibiting possible coronavirus symptoms, an infectious disease specialist and the CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association said Friday.

Dayton Children’s visitor restrictions will allow one adult per patient, while adult hospitals allow no visitors -- except in special circumstances.

"This is a serious next step for us in this region," Sara Hackenbracht, GDAHA president and CEO, said at a daily news conference called by Public Health - Dayton and Montgomery County and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

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In other announcements made during Friday's news conference:

  • The filing deadline for City of Dayton income taxes has been extended to July 15
  • Calls to 9-1-1 and Emergency Medical Services related to the coronavirus are stressing the emergency response system, Dayton Fire Chief Jeff Lykins said.
  • People who want to file for COVID-19-related unemployment should consult an attorney
  • Dayton Children's has a new hotline: 1-888-746-KIDS hotline for parents who want information
  • Beginning Monday, Dayton Children's will open its Sick Child Clinic to make sure families that don't have a primary care physician can get their child an evaluation.

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Hackenbracht said increased visitor restrictions and begin standardized screenings apply at member adult-patient hospitals in counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases.

“The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to increase in the Dayton region and GDAHA’s member hospitals must take proactive measures to ensure the safety of all patients in their care,” Hackenbracht said.

Member hospitals in Kettering Health Network, Premier Health as well as Dayton Children’s Hospital will implement the amended visitor restriction policy to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Visitors will no longer be allowed for hospitalized patients, except under certain circumstance in order to protect the   health of patients, hospital employees and staff.

Jon Woltmann, MD, who specializes in infectious diseases at Children's, said the coronavirus for most children will look like a fever, a cough, a cold.

"They are very good about spreading it to other people," he said. "So it's important to keep them at home," unless the child has a fever over 104 and is experiencing trouble breathing.

The GDAHA is a member-service organization representing 29 hospitals and health systems in the Dayton region that includes Auglaize, Butler, Darke, Champaign, Clark, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby, and Warren Counties in West Central Ohio.

“We ask for the public’s patience and cooperation as we adjust to a new way of life in our region’s healthcare facilities,” Hackenbracht said. “These measures will help our hospitals provide the safe environment our patients need to recover.”

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