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WellSpan adjusts emergency department visitation in Franklin County due to rising COVID-19 cases

September 16, 2021


WellSpan adjusts emergency department visitation in Franklin County due to rising COVID-19 cases

Due to the rising rates of sustained community transmission of COVID-19 across South Central Pennsylvania, WellSpan is reviewing the health system’s patient visitation policy and taking necessary steps in some areas to adjust the policy to increasing patient volumes.

In February, WellSpan Health implemented new guidelines to maximize the health and safety of patients, visitors, and staff from the spread of COVID-19.  WellSpan implemented visitation levels – Red, Yellow, Purple, and Green – to help limit the spread of COVID-19. The visitation levels and guidelines are based on the number of COVID-19 cases in the community, according to state and county public health information, as well as hospital conditions.

Currently, most WellSpan Health care facilities remain in the Yellow Level and allow the visitation of one designated support person for inpatients, clinic visits and outpatient locations. 

Effective immediately, due to increasing patient care volumes and the positive rate of transmission in Franklin County, the emergency departments of WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital and WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital have transitioned to WellSpan’s Red Level, prohibiting all patient visitation, with certain patient exceptions.

Both hospital emergency departments will permit visitation of one person for pediatric patients, end-of-life patients, patients with disabilities, and patients with communication barriers, in which the presence of a support person would be important for the patient’s understanding or comfort. In all cases, visitation exceptions must be healthy individuals who follow the expected mask policy and related entity safety procedures.

WellSpan’s updated visitation policy is available here.

WellSpan Health continues to stress the need for renewed safety efforts in slowing the spread of COVID-19, as hospitalization rates increase at each of the health system’s acute care hospitals.

If you are experiencing non-emergent health issues, please consider seeking care at a convenient WellSpan Urgent Care or WellSpan primary care location. Also, patients are encouraged to use WellSpan Online Urgent Care to be seen quickly and safely, without the need to travel to a care location. Patients can go here to get started.

To protect yourself, your family and our communities, remember these simple, effective steps to stay safe and stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities:

  • Get the vaccine.
  • Limit gathering sizes – even small gatherings carry big risk.
  • Follow masking and social distancing guidelines.
  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.

For more information about COVID-19, go here