ASHLAND -- University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center is implementing new visitation restrictions in light of COVID-19. 

"While we understand this may cause concern, we must be diligent in taking proactive preventive measures to protect our patients, caregivers and the broader community," said senior marketing strategist Noah Gangi in a press release.

For General Medical Inpatient floor/ Emergency Department/ Surgery & Outpatient floor/ Rehabilitation patient visitors: 

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All visitors must check in at the Main entrance and Emergency Room entrance and be screened for the following: 

- Travel history: No international travel in the prior 14 days

- Symptom-free: No flu-like symptoms, cough, fever, runny nose, shortness of breath, etc.

- No exposure or contact with COVID-19: suspected or diagnosed individual within the prior 30 days

One visitor per day will be allowed in the patient's room. No minors under the age of 18 will be allowed. All visitors will need to sign into the visitor's log with contact information, travel and symptom screening information. 

Further, all visitors may be subject to temperature assessment. 

For UH Seidman Cancer Center patients:

Because people with cancer often have weakened immune systems, it’s harder for their bodies to fight off infections, the press release explained, saying it is especially important for people with cancer and their family members to protect themselves from infection. 

- Any patient with flu-like symptoms should call their physician prior to their appointment.

- All individuals are being screened for symptoms of respiratory illness at the entrance of the clinic.

- Patients should only wear a mark in the clinic if directed to by staff. 

- Parients should only bring one additional person to their appointment. They should avoid bringing children under age 18. 

For Birthing & Women’s inpatients:

 Visitors will be limited to the same two adult visitors for the duration of their hospital stay.These visitors will be screened for symptoms of respiratory illness upon entrance to the unit.

- All visitors will need to sign into the visitor's log with contact information, travel and symptom screening information. 

- All visitors may be subject to temperature assessment. 

For inpatients with confirmed COVID-19 and those who are PUI (person under investigation): 

 – No visitors will be allowed, except for pediatric patients who will be limited as stated above.

For cafeteria services: 

Cafeteria services will be restricted to staff and patients. No outside visitors.

"University Hospitals is committed to helping our community understand and manage their health and wellbeing," Gangi said in the release. "We appreciate your understanding and support as we take reasonable and responsible actions for the safety of our patients, caregivers and community. 

Additional assistance and tools cab be found at www.UHhospitals.org on the UH Coronavirus webpage or by calling the Ohio Department of Health hotline at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH. 

Visitors can also get screened using UH Virtual Visit. Text UH VirtualVisit to 635483 or call 1-888-515-2190. All UH Visitor Restriction Rules are subject to change at any time.