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Visitors off-limits at Sarasota Memorial Hospital

After two more patients tested positive for COVID-19, the hospital said visitors will only be allowed in special circumstances effective at 6 p.m. today.

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  • | 12:15 p.m. March 20, 2020
  • Sarasota
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Starting at 6 p.m. today, Sarasota Memorial Hospital will no longer allow visitors except in special circumstances, a temporary policy designed to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The hospital announced the no-visitor policy after two more patients tested presumptively positive for the coronavirus disease late Thursday, one in their 60s and one in their 70s. The Florida Department of Health announced today a 63-year-old woman and 76-year-old man in Sarasota County tested positive for COVID-19.

Visitors are also not allowed at Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Bayside Center for Behavioral Health, Rehabilitation Pavilion and Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Rand Boulevard.

The hospital also announced that, in compliance with an executive order Gov. Ron DeSantis issued today, it will no longer be performing nonessential and elective surgeries.

“Hospitals are prohibited from providing any medically unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency procedure or surgery unless, if delayed, it would place a patient’s immediate health, safety or well-being at risk, or if the delay will not contribute to the worsening of a serious or life-threatening medical condition,” hospital spokeswoman Kim Savage said in an email.

In a release, hospital President and CEO David Verinder continued to praise the work staff is doing in response to COVID-19.

“No matter how much you plan and prepare, there will always be unforeseen events and things you have to do differently,” Verinder said in the release. “We have an incredible team and I could not be prouder as they rise to each and every challenge this virus throws our way.”

To date, six patients have been diagnosed at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Three have been discharged, and three remain hospitalized.


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