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Covid-19 ImageSarasota Memorial & COVID-19

Sarasota Memorial continually evaluates and adjusts our COVID-19 policies based on ongoing guidance from the CDC, infectious disease and epidemiology specialists and our medical staff leaders. The requirements below reflect our ongoing commitment to protect vulnerable patients while taking into consideration the latest infection trends.

Visitation at Hospital Campuses

General visiting hours in most areas of our hospital campuses are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Exceptions may be made by physician's order or hospital discretion. If you are experiencing symptoms or have recently been exposed to COVID-19, please postpone your visit for the safety of our patients and team members. See additional guidelines for specialized units below

Unit-Specific Details:

  • Critical CareVisiting hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 8 to 10 p.m. daily on the Sarasota Campus. Visitors must check in at the desk on the fourth floor, Critical Care Tower (“G” elevator).
  • Trauma Care: Visitors to Trauma patients are required to check in at the Public Safety desk in the Emergency Care Center. Trauma patients may have two visitors at a time at the bedside during visiting hours, from 9 am to 9 pm.
  • Labor & Delivery: Each patient may have up to three visitors at the bedside. Visitors must be at least 16 years old.
  • Mother-Baby Unit: Each patient may have up to three visitors age 16 and older at the bedside during regular visiting hours. In addition, family visitation, including children under age 16 who are siblings of the baby, is 3 to 5 p.m. daily.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care: Check with a member of the health care team for visiting hours.
  • Pediatric Unit: Parents and grandparents may visit anytime; others may visit noon – 8 pm. Some visiting restrictions may apply.
  • Nursing & Rehabilitation Center Visitation: Visitors to residents will be provided with and expected to follow core principles of infection prevention. For more detailed information click here.
  • Bayside Center for Behavioral Health:Patients under age 18 may have visitors Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 4 to 5:15 p.m. Adult patients may have visitors Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 4 to 5:15 p.m.

Visitation for COVID-19 Patients:

  • Visitors to COVID-19 patients must check in at the nurses’ station and wear appropriate PPE supplied by Sarasota Memorial, including an N95 mask, gown, eye protection and gloves. Instructions on how to put on and remove the PPE will be provided.
  • Visitors are asked to remain inside the COVID-19 patient’s room for the duration of their visit.

Masking Policy

To protect the vulnerable, all staff and visitors must continue to wear masks while in patient rooms and treatment/exam rooms.

Masks are encouraged but optional in all other areas, and will remain available throughout our hospitals for employees, patients and visitors.

COVID-19 Testing  

Sarasota Memorial provides free COVID-19 testing for admitted hospital patients and those scheduled for certain surgeries or procedures that require an overnight stay, regardless of vaccination status. Testing instructions will be provided during your Pre-admission Testing (PAT) appointment. For information about our testing requirements, please call our PAT team at the Sarasota Campus at 941-917-2425 or for the Venice Campus at 941-261-0390

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 free community COVID-19 testing sites, click here.

Think You Have COVID-19?

If you have mild to moderate symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, chills, muscle pain, headache, new loss of taste or smell, fatigue, diarrhea), call your doctor, walk-in urgent care center or community healthcare provider for information on testing and how to seek care without exposing others. If you are experiencing more serious symptoms, such as shortness of breath/difficulty breathing or extreme fatigue, please call 9-1-1 and seek care immediately.

While vaccination continues to provide the best protection against COVID-19, therapies are now available to help treat eligible people who do get sick. Knowing if you qualify for any of these potentially lifesaving interventions and how to access them can be confusing, even for physicians. The Sarasota County COVID Therapy Coalition has created a resource page with helpful links and treatment guidelines to help our Suncoast community access the right treatment at the right time. Visit smh.com/treatcovid for information.

Monoclonal Antibody Treatments for COVID-19

Treatment for Mild-to-Moderate COVID-19  
For higher risk patients who are unable to receive the oral anti-viral medication Paxlovid (e.g., due to a significant interaction with another medication), monoclonal antibody therapy has been authorized for emergency use by the FDA for certain outpatients to help reduce the severity of the disease and risk of hospitalization. To be effective, it should be administered as soon as possible after a positive COVID test and within 7 days of the onset of symptoms. Community members who have tested positive and believe they are at high risk of developing severe disease due to older age, immune-suppressing conditions or other risk factors such as pregnancy, obesity, diabetes, or chronic heart, lung or kidney disease should contact their local physician to initiate the screening and referral process. If you are a referring physician/care provider, please review the Physician Resources on our webpage or contact Sarasota Memorial's COVID medical leadership team for screening information. We will update this webpage and SMH’s Monoclonal Antibody Information Line (941-262-0135) regularly.

Prevention Therapy for High Risk Individuals  
Evusheld, a preventative therapy that combines 2 monoclonal antibodies, can help reduce the risk of severe disease in people who do not currently have COVID-19. The prevention therapy has received FDA emergency use authorization for those who have an immune-compromising condition or are taking immune-suppressing medication and not expected to generate an adequate immune response from COVID-19 vaccination. Evusheld also is authorized for patients who are unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccination for medical reasons. Evusheld is not a substitute for COVID-19 vaccination and should not be used in unvaccinated individuals for whom COVID-19 vaccination is recommended. 

How Can I Receive Evusheld at SMH?
Please contact your local physician specialist to complete and submit your referral information. The drug must be ordered by an SMH-credentialed provider using the appropriate Evusheld referral forms. Once the referral information has been received, the SMH Infusion Clinic team will contact you to schedule the infusion. If you are a physician/care provider, please refer to the most recent Medical Staff communication for information on the screening and referral process. We will update this webpage and our Evusheld Information Line (941-917-6870) regularly.

Vaccines for COVID-19

Vaccination continues to provide the best protection against COVID-19. Sarasota Memorial Health Care System encourages adults and children age 6 months and older (who do not have contraindications) to get vaccinated against COVID-19 when they are eligible. Vaccination has been proven safe and effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and long-term symptoms from COVID-19 for children and adults. Vaccination also gives children and adults the added protection and peace of mind to engage in learning and leisure activities important to mental health, growth and development.

Sarasota Memorial is NOT a community COVID-19 vaccination site. Adults and children age 5 and older can get their vaccinations and boosters at retail pharmacies as well as walk-in vaccination sites provided by the Florida Department of Health – Sarasota. Use vaccines.gov to find a location near you, then call or visit their website to make an appointment. For children under age 5, we recommend families check with their pediatrician about how to get their children vaccinated.

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. Click here to learn more.

For those vaccinated through Sarasota Memorial’s community COVID-19 vaccination events, click here for more options.

* Page last updated Oct. 20, 2022. COVID-19 information is continually evolving. For the most up-to-date info, also visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.