Special to the Opelika Observer

As the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread throughout the U.S. and has caused the cancellation of many regional and national events, East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) is taking unprecedented steps to protect its patients and residents, as well as its staff, volunteers and physicians.

Effective tomorrow (March 13), EAMC will be implementing and strictly enforcing the following visitor restrictions from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. These restrictions will remain in place until further notice.  

Only one person per patient will be allowed for patients in the following areas:
-EAMC and EAMC-Lanier patient rooms (overnight stays)
-EAMC and EAMC-Lanier Emergency Departments
-EAMC and EAMC-Lanier elective procedures (outpatient surgeries, colonoscopies, diagnostic tests, etc.)
-EAMC Skilled Nursing Facility
-EAMC-Lanier Nursing Home
-Oak Park Nursing Home
-Spencer Cancer Center
All persons are subject to a screening consisting of a temperature check and questions regarding any symptoms associated with COVID-19.
Other visitors, including clergy members, will not be permitted. Exceptions may be granted in certain extreme situations, but routine visits will not be allowed.

“This is a very unusual time in our lives and that’s why we are taking these unprecedented measures to keep our patients and caregivers safe from this coronavirus,” said EAMC’s President and CEO Laura Grill. “I’m proud of the way our staff and physicians have accepted this difficult challenge and are making every effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”
5 ways to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus:

-Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
-Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve.
-Avoid touching your hands to your mouth, nose or eyes.
-Practice social distancing…keep your distance from other individuals, especially if they are exhibiting any of the following symptoms: fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing and
-Stay home and isolate yourself if you have a fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing.

About East Alabama Medical Center (www.eamc.org)
East Alabama Medical Center is a 340-bed regional referral hospital located in Opelika, and the organization also includes EAMC-Lanier hospital (88 beds) in Valley. Between the two hospitals and their collective service lines, there are 3,300 employees, making EAMC Lee County’s second largest employer. Among the services provided are open-heart surgery, comprehensive cancer treatment, and complete orthopaedic care. EAMC also operates non-mainstream services, including RehabWorks, HealthPlus Fitness Center, the Diabetes & Nutrition Center, the Wound Treatment Center and the Auburn University Medical Clinic. EAMC-Lanier has a nursing home (103 beds), an inpatient acute rehabilitation unit (17 beds), a detox unit (10 beds) and offers occupational medicine.