Sarasota Memorial & COVID-19
As we move toward a “new normal” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, our top priority 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 non-vaccinated preoperative patients.
Sarasota Memorial continues 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 Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH).
Expanded Visitation at SMH
Thanks to increased vaccination rates and reduced COVID-19 transmission risk in our community, Sarasota Memorial has expanded visitation hours and loosened daily visitor limits in most patient-care areas. We've returned to our regular visiting hours of 9am to 9pm daily. Please see below for unit-specific visitation details.
Note that all visitors must wear a mask and be at least 16 years old. Visitors must check-in with our greeters upon entry and are expected to also check out before departing SMH. No one should visit the hospital if they do not feel well or have any symptoms of respiratory illness.
Loved ones who cannot visit are encouraged to connect with patients via calls, texts and video calling apps like FaceTime and WhatsApp.
Current Visitation Policy
Visiting hours are 9am to 9pm daily.
- Visitors are NOT permitted for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, with exceptions in certain extraordinary circumstances such as end-of-life situations.
- Hospital inpatients may have 2 visitors at a time between the hours of 9am and 9pm. There is no limit on the number of total visitors allowed per day in most care units; however, only 2 people may visit at the same time.
- Critical Care patients may have 2 visitors at a time between the hours of 9am and 9pm; visitors may be asked to step out from 7 to 8pm for staff shift change.
- Emergency Care Center (ER) patients are allowed to have 2 support people (age 16 or older).
- Labor & Delivery patients may have a total of 3 designated support people per day, including a certified doula or community midwife.
- Mother-Baby Unit patients may have up to 3 designated visitors from 9am to 9pm; additionally, siblings of any age may visit from 3 to 5pm. One visitor may stay overnight.
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients are allowed 2 visitors at a time. The 2 visitors can be the patient’s parent, a support person or 1 designated alternate caregiver (age 16 or older); no changing alternate caregiver.
- Pediatric patients may have 2 designated caregivers, plus 1 visitor (age 16 and older) approved by a caregiver. A maximum of 2 visitors are allowed at a time.
- Surgery patients and those in procedural and testing areas may each have 2 support people (ages 16 and older). Support people must remain in designated waiting areas.
- In-person visitation is currently not permitted at Bayside Center for Behavioral Health; staff will gladly assist with setting up virtual or by-phone visitations.
- Vendor visits require advance hospital approval.
Exceptions to this visitor policy may be made in certain extraordinary circumstances, including end-of-life situations.
We will continue to monitor COVID indicators to determine whether any adjustments are needed in the coming weeks.
Nursing & Rehabilitation Center Visitation
To ensure the continued safety of residents and staff, the Sarasota Memorial Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is providing resident visitation by appointment; social distancing and masks are required. Call 941-917-1938 to schedule a visit with a loved one at the center.
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.
COVID-19 Testing at SMH
Sarasota Memorial Hospital only provides COVID-19 testing for admitted patients and those scheduled for surgery or other procedures. 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.
Monoclonal Antibody Therapy for COVID-19 Outpatients
Sarasota Memorial is among a number of hospitals allocated a limited supply of monoclonal antibody therapy for non-hospitalized patients who have been diagnosed with a mild-to-moderate case of COVID-19 within the past 10 days, and have a high risk for severe disease or hospitalization. SMH has a screening process to determine patient eligibility, and a physician referral is required..
Referrals: To refer a patient, physicians may call the monoclonal antibody infusion referral line at 941-262-0135 (from 8 am - 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday). Physicians can leave a voicemail after hours with physician name, patient name, patient date of birth, date of positive test and best contact information for the patient. Click here to learn more.
COVID-19 Clinical Trials
SMH is participating in a multi-center trial of IC14, an anti-CD14 monoclonal antibody drug that researchers hope will reduce dangerous levels of inflammation in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Click here to learn more.
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.
- 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 May 26, 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.