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.
No Visitor Policy Activated
As part of our continuing efforts to keep staff, patients and our community safe amid the current COVID-19 surge, Sarasota Memorial is currently NOT allowing patient visitation, with limited exceptions (see below).
We will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 trends, and we hope to again relax this temporary restriction as soon as we can safely allow 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.
Loved ones are encouraged to connect with patients via calls, texts and video calling apps like FaceTime and WhatsApp.
Limited exceptions to the no-visitor policy include:
- Patients in certain extraordinary circumstances, such as end-of-life care.
- Patients in the Emergency Care Center (ER) may each have 1 support person, who will be allowed to wait in the ECC lobby (first-floor access only). If a patient requires a support person's assistance to receive treatment (such as a stroke patient who cannot speak), then 1 essential caregiver may be allowed to accompany the patient into the Emergency Care Center or another patient care area, as necessary.
- Labor & Delivery Unit and Mother-Baby Unit patients may each have 1 support person. Only Labor & Delivery patients who are transferred to SMH may have a certified doula or community midwife in addition to their 1 support person. No other visitors/support people allowed.
- Pediatric Unit patients may each have 1 parent/caregiver or designated support person per day (1 visitor total).
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients may each have 2 visitors, but only 1 visitor per day. The visitor must be the NICU patient's parent/caregiver or the same designated support person who accompanied the Labor & Delivery patient.
- Patients in surgical, procedural and therapy departments may each have 1 support person. The support person must remain in the designated waiting area.
Vendors: Vendors will not be allowed to enter the hospital without approval.
Nursing & Rehabilitation Center Visitation
In-person visitation is currently NOT permitted for residents of the Sarasota Memorial Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, with limited exceptions for certain extraordinary circumstances such as end-of-life care. Loved ones are encouraged to connect with patients via calls, texts and video calling apps like FaceTime and WhatsApp; staff can provide assistance. Call 941-917-1938 for more information.
Bayside Center for Behavioral Health
In-person visitation is currently NOT permitted at the Bayside Center for Behavioral Health; staff can assist with setting up virtual or by-phone visitations.
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.
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.
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 July 30, 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.