Sarasota Memorial & COVID-19
Our top priority amid the COVID-19 pandemic remains providing safe, quality healthcare for our community. At all Sarasota Memorial locations, we are enforcing our mask-wearing policy and following strict infection control measures, which include COVID-19 testing for preoperative patients.
Sarasota Memorial Hospital, its outpatient and urgent care centers, and its First Physician’s Group practices continue to require universal mask-wearing for all staff, providers, patients (age 2 and older) and visitors in public and patient-care areas of its facilities, in accordance with the federal government's recommendations for healthcare settings. Masks are provided upon entry to SMH and First Physician’s Group offices.
Limited Visitation Policy in Effect
Based on current COVID-19 indicators, SMH-Sarasota Campus is allowing limited patient visitation.
Note that all visitors and support people must wear a mask and be at least 16 years old. They must check-in with SMH greeters upon entry and are expected to also check out before departing the hospital. No one should visit a hospital patient if they feel unwell or have any symptoms of respiratory illness.
Visiting hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Most SMH inpatients may have up to 2 visitors at a time at the bedside from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily; these visitors will be allowed to switch out during visiting hours. See below for details on unit-specific visitation policies.
Exceptions to the visitor policy may be made in certain extraordinary circumstances, such as end-of-life situations.
- Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 may not have visitors, with limited exceptions.
- Surgical, procedural and testing patients may each have 1 support person accompany them. Support people must remain in designated waiting areas.
- Emergency Care Center (ER) patients may each have up to 2 visitors at a time.
- Critical Care (ICU) patients may each have up to 2 visitors daily for one 1-hour visit during visiting hours (9 am to 6 pm), with limited exceptions. All ICU visitors must check in on the Critical Care Center fourth floor.
- Pediatric Unit patients may each have 2 designated caregivers/parents for the duration of the patient stay (2 visitors total).
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients may each have a total of 2 designated visitors (patient’s parent, a support person or 1 designated alternate caregiver) at the bedside; no changing the alternate caregiver.
- While in the Obstetrical Emergency Care Center (OBECC), patients may each have 1 support person.
- Labor & Delivery patients may each have a total of 2 support people/visitors at a time at the bedside; for patients transferred to SMH, a certified doula or community midwife can be 1 of the 2 visitors.
- Mother-Baby Unit patients may each have a total of 2 support people/visitors at a time at the bedside.
Food Donations for Staff
Sarasota Memorial and our staff greatly appreciate the continued support of our incredible community during these challenging times.
For those who would like to make a food donation for hospital staff, please call 941-917-7011 to coordinate. Please note that all food donations must come from an established restaurant or grocery store, as SMH is unable to accept homemade food items from private kitchens.
Nursing & Rehabilitation Center Visitation
In-person visitation is currently allowed by APPOINTMENT ONLY for residents of the Sarasota Memorial Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Loved ones are encouraged to connect with patients via calls, texts and video calling apps like FaceTime and WhatsApp; staff can provide assistance. To make an appointment or for more information, call 941-917-1938.
Bayside Center for Behavioral Health Visitation
In-person visitation is by appointment only for patients at the Bayside Center for Behavioral Health; call 941-917-7760 to make an appointment.
Monoclonal Antibody Infusions for COVID-19 Outpatients
Sarasota Memorial offers monoclonal antibody infusion treatments for non-hospitalized patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 10 days and who have a high risk for developing severe disease or hospitalization (see below). Available at select Sarasota Memorial outpatient care centers, the FDA-authorized treatment is given by infusion (30 minutes) and followed by a 1-hour, onsite observation period.
A physician referral is NOT required to get the treatment at Sarasota Memorial sites, but patients must meet specific eligibility criteria:
- Age 18 or older
- Have a positive COVID-19 test result from a professionally administered test (no home tests accepted)
- Be within 10 days of symptom onset
- Have at least 1 health condition or other factor that makes them at increased risk for severe illness or hospitalization; these include:
- Older than age 65
- Obese or overweight (BMI >25)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Immunosuppressive disease or treatment
- Cardiovascular disease or hypertension
- Chronic lung diseases
- Sickle cell disease
- Neurodevelopmental disorders (for example, cerebral palsy) or other conditions that confer medical complexity
- Having a medical-related technological dependence (tracheostomy, gastrostomy, etc.)
SCREENING & REFERRALS: To self-refer or refer a patient, call the monoclonal antibody infusion referral line at 941-262-0135 (from 8 am - 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday).
Medicare and most major insurance plans will cover the treatment cost. We recommend confirming benefits coverage with your insurance company prior to making your appointment.
NOTE: The state government provides monoclonal antibody injections at locations in Sarasota and Manatee counties for people age 12 and older who are high-risk and have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19. Getting the monoclonal antibody injections at these state-supported sites is free and does not require a physician referral. Click here for more information about the state sites or to make an appointment.
COVID-19 Testing at SMH
Sarasota Memorial Hospital only provides COVID-19 testing for admitted patients and those scheduled for surgery or other procedures.
Currently, COVID-19 testing is required for all SMH patients scheduled for a surgery/procedure that requires anesthesia (conscious sedation and deep sedation), regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status. (This includes women scheduled for C-sections.) We encourage these patients to be tested at least 72 hours before their scheduled procedure, when possible. Patients can access free, pre-procedure COVID-19 testing during their Pre-admission Testing (PAT) appointment, or by visiting any SMH Urgent Care Center location or the Sarasota Memorial Health Care Center & ER at North Port. For more information about this requirement, please call our PAT team at 941-917-2425.
All Labor & Delivery patients will be tested for COVID-19, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, upon admission to SMH.
Outpatient COVID-19 testing (for diagnosis or travel, work or school clearance) is available at Sarasota Memorial Urgent Care Centers for a fee. Click here for more information on COVID-19 testing at our urgent care center locations.
For information on other community COVID-19 testing sites, click here or call the Sarasota County call center at 941-861-2883.
Vaccines for COVID-19
Sarasota Memorial Hospital is not a community COVID-19 vaccination site. Click here for information on local COVID-19 vaccinations.
For vaccine-related information from the federal government: Click here for info from the CDC; click here for info from the FDA.
Lost or Damaged COVID-19 Vaccination Card
If you were vaccinated for COVID-19 in Florida and your vaccination card is lost or damaged, here’s how to request a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record:
- Call your primary care provider’s office. All administered COVID vaccines are entered into the Florida State Health Online Tracking System (Florida SHOTS) immunization registry. If your doctor is enrolled in Florida SHOTS, the office staff can provide you with a copy of your immunization records, which will include vaccination dates, location and lot numbers. Note that all First Physicians Group primary care doctors are enrolled in Florida SHOTS and can provide a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record.
- Make an appointment with the Sarasota County Department of Health. Anyone vaccinated in Florida can receive a replacement vaccination card through the Sarasota Health Department’s immunization clinic. Appointments are required. Click here to learn more, or call 941-861-2784 to make an appointment.
For those vaccinated through Sarasota Memorial’s community COVID-19 vaccination events, click here for more options.
Think You Have COVID-19?
- If you have mild symptoms (fever of 100 or above, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, chills, muscle pain, headache, new loss of taste or smell, extreme fatigue, diarrhea), call your healthcare provider, an urgent care center or the Sarasota County COVID-19 Call Center (941-861-2883). Review your signs, symptoms and travel history thoroughly with them. Find out whether you're eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment: Call 941-262-0135.
- If you have severe symptoms, or you have underlying conditions, such as a weakened immune system or chronic respiratory disease, call your family physician or the Sarasota County COVID-19 Call Center (941-861-2883) for guidance on how to seek care without exposing others.
- If you have symptoms and have had close contact (within 6 ft.) with someone confirmed to have COVID-19, call your doctor right away. If you do not have a care provider, call the Sarasota County COVID-19 Call Center (941-861-2883).
For more information, contact the Sarasota County COVID-19 Call Center (941-861-2883) or the Florida Department of Health hotline at 866-779-6121 (24 hours a day).
* Page last updated Oct. 14, 2021. COVID-19 information is continually evolving. For the most up-to-date info, also visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.