AU Health restricts access as COVID cases rise again

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 3:37 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Days after reinstating a mask mandate in Augusta University Health facilities, the hospital system is restricting non-patient access again.

The restrictions come as COVID-19 cases rise across the country as the highly contagious delta variant sweeps through the population, leading to talk of new mask mandates and other measures. Most of those being sickened are not vaccinated.

The changes will take effect at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Highlights of these changes include:

  • One support person/designated caregiver is allowed for adult and pediatric patients for all settings; the support person may switch out with another support person.
  • To ensure physical distancing and to limit exposure, individuals may not wait or congregate in public lobbies or in waiting areas on units.
  • Children under age 18 may not enter the hospital unless they are the patient.
  • Children with a clinic appointment within the hospital will be given a blue sticker to indicate they have a clinic appointment (but not in the medical office building/practice sites).

The changes come after the hospital system reinstated its universal masking policy late last week out of “an abundance of caution.”

Anyone entering an AU Health hospital or practice site is required to wear a face mask while in the facility. All individuals, including employees, are expected to self-screen at entrances and should not enter if symptomatic.

The hospital system noted that the majority of cases involving the more contagious delta variant are among people who are unvaccinated.

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