SARASOTA (May 20, 2021)– Sarasota Memorial Hospital is opening its doors to more visitors, thanks to a drop in hospitalizations, increasing immunity from COVID-19 vaccinations and a continuing decline in cases of COVID-19 across our community and nation.
The hospital will resume normal visiting hours from 9 am to 9 pm daily, starting tomorrow (May 21). Most patients will be allowed to have two visitors at a time at the bedside during visiting hours.
“With all of the positive trends we are seeing in the community, and the extra protection afforded by the COVID-19 vaccines, we felt it was time to welcome more visitors back into our hospital,” said Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Sarasota Campus President Lorrie Liang. “Having friends and family members at the bedside is an important part of the healing process.”
In general, visitors must be age 16 or older. Certain departments, including the Mother-Baby Unit, Critical Care and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, have department-specific guidelines people should check before visiting. In the Mother-Baby Unit, for example, siblings may visit from 3 to 5 pm daily, and one visitor may stay overnight.
SMH is still restricting visitors for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, with exceptions for extraordinary circumstances such as end-of-life situations.
The hospital is maintaining a universal masking policy for all staff, providers and visitors in public and patient-care areas of its facilities, as well as many other pandemic protocols as it continues to monitor transmission rates of the virus in the region.
While hospital leaders strongly encourage everyone to get their vaccinations, proof of a COVID-19 shot is not required to visit patients in the hospital. No one should visit the hospital if they do not feel well or have any symptoms of respiratory illness.
SMH’s Bayside Center for Behavioral Health will remain closed for in-person visitation, but staff can assist with virtual or phone visits. The hospital’s Nursing & Rehabilitation Center on Rand Boulevard will continue to allow visitation by appointment.
For more visiting guidelines and hospital updates, visit the hospital website: smh.com/covid19
About Sarasota Memorial
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 1 million patient visits each year. Its flagship 839-bed, acute-care hospital has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s largest and best, with superior patient outcomes and complete continuum of care – from trauma, emergency and urgent care services to laboratory and diagnostic imaging, home health, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. SMH is the only hospital in Florida to have consistently earned the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ highest 5-star quality award since the rating system launched in 2016.