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Fort HealthCare COVID-19 Update March 17, 2020

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

In an effort to keep our patients and team members safe, we are adopting a no-visitor policy as a proactive measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19 effective March 17, 2020 at 5 pm. No visitors, with few exceptions, will be allowed on the hospital campus until further notice. All visitors who meet exclusion criteria will be screened with key COVID-19 assessment questions.

Exclusion criteria includes:

  • Pediatric caregivers (2)
  • Caregivers necessary for the emotional well-being of the patient (1)
  • Partner of a laboring mother (1)
  • Certified doula (1)
  • End-of-life situations (number of visitors determined on a case-by-case basis)
  • Emergency Department companion (1)
  • Outpatient-area companion (1)
  • In-person discharge instructions (1)
  • Professionals assigned to assist with procedures (1)
  • Clergy

To support this safety measure, visitors will enter through our main hospital entrance on Armenia Street for checkpoint for screening. Our top priority is to provide the safest possible environment for patients and team members. In addition to the no-visitors policy, all volunteers and hospital walking path participants have been restricted temporarily.


  • Monday- Friday:  6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday:  7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

If you need to enter the building outside of those hours please go to our Emergency Department entrance.

In order to preserve supplies and available inpatient beds, we will be cancelling all elective procedures effective Saturday, March 21, 2020. This cancellation will remain in effect until we see a downward trend of COVID-19 infection rates. This decision was not made lightly, and was made in consultation with FHC’s medical staff leadership as well as the joint recommendations from the American College of Surgeons and the Centers for Disease Control. Clearly, judgement is involved as to what care can be postponed. FHC office staff will be contacting all patients affected by this decision to ask if they want to voluntarily cancel their elective procedures, and to let them know that elective procedures may be cancelled earlier than Friday if the current situation changes.

We are monitoring several variables to determine if we need to take action regarding elective procedures prior to March 21. A few of the items we will be monitoring daily are:

  • The first verified case of COVID-19 in Jefferson County;
  • Number of available inpatient and ICU beds; and
  • Supply levels for personal protective equipment, terminal cleaning supplies,
  • and ventilators.

To stay up to date on COVID-19, the CDC offers updated information about the spread of the virus in the U.S. and can be followed at

If you are experiencing a fever, cough or shortness of breath please contact your primary care provider in advance of visiting or you can do a virtual health visit at e+CARE at to screen for COVID-19.

The best ways to avoid illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Washing hands frequently, using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands are good practices to use. The CDC is now recommending limiting social gatherings to less than 10 people and keeping a distance of 6 feet from others.