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Uniontown Hospital to again allow visitation

A Uniontown Hospital employee returns through the main entrance passing a sign displaying the hospital's requirement that everyone entering the facility wear a mask.

By the Herald-Standard


Uniontown Hospital is reinstating limited visitation for inpatients.


Josh Krysak, director of community relations, said each patient will be allowed one visitor per day, starting Monday.


“The intention is to continue to reduce foot traffic … and to limit potential exposure and contact as much as possible while allowing our patients to visit with a loved one,” Krysak said.


Hospital officials temporarily halted the practice in mid-March to protect its employees and others who had to come to the facility from potential exposure to the coronavirus.


As case counts in Fayette County continue to remain fairly stable, Krysak said hospital officials felt it was the right time to reintroduce visitation.


“We are committed to ensuring the safety of our patients while also recognizing the significant role that support plays in their recovery and wellbeing,” Uniontown Hospital CEO Steve Handy said. “We want to remain committed to that high level of safety while being mindful of the need for human connection and support in the healing process.”


Visiting hours will be between noon and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from noon until 4 p.m. on the weekends. Weekday visitors should come into the facility through the main entrance and will be screened, while weekend visitors will enter through the emergency department for screening.


While Fayette County is in the green phase of reopening, Krysak said all who enter the facility are required to wear a mask.


“After the county moved to green, we began to see more and more people arrive without masks,” Krysak said. “We believe wearing a mask is an extension of courtesy to those around you, and an act of kindness if nothing else.”


State health officials have urged all Pennsylvanians to wear masks while out in public. Wearing a mask offers protection to others, should the wearer have COVID-19 but not be showing symptoms, health officials said.


The hospital’s visitation policy is in line with what WVU Medicine recently put in place.


On Friday, Uniontown Hospital closed its drive-thru testing site in South Union Township, with COVID-19 tests now being performed at the hospital.


Only patients with a prescription for the test can have one done between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday-Friday.


Those seeking the test will follow the testing signs and park near the entrance to the emergency department.


An attendant will come to the vehicle to register the patient, who will then be directed to park in a designated area.


A member of the hospital’s clinical staff will come out to the vehicle to conduct a swab test for the virus.


Krysak said more than 1,500 tests were performed at the drive-thru site in the parking lot of the former Kmart. At the peak of local cases, five dozen tests were conducted daily.


“It’s an exciting time because we’re getting closer to normal, but we’re still navigating the challenges around this pandemic,” Krysak said.