Liz McCormick Published

WVU Medicine Lifts Zero-Visitation Policy At Eastern Panhandle Hospitals

Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg, W.Va.

WVU Medicine’s two Eastern Panhandle hospitals have lifted the zero-visitation policy put in place to combat the coronavirus.

Hospital inpatients and emergency department patients at Berkeley Medical Center and Jefferson Medical Center are now permitted to see visitors.

WVU Medicine East announced the policy shift this week.

Visitors will be allowed between noon and 7:00 p.m. at both Berkeley and Jefferson Medical Centers. They must be screened upon arrival, wear a mask and remain in a patients’ room for the duration of the visit. Patients are also only allowed one adult visitor per day.

Visitors are still not permitted on the Behavioral Health Unit.

“Our ambulatory surgery, outpatient services, physician clinics and urgent care centers will continue to discourage visitors with some exceptions,” said Samantha Richards, WVU Medicine East interim president and CEO, in a press release. “These visitation changes were made after a thorough review of the current COVID-19 pandemic in our area, and our continued response efforts keeping staff, patients and their families at the forefront of our considerations.”  

More than a month ago, other hospitals in West Virginia began easing their own restrictions, such as Mon Health System and Charleston Area Medical Center Health System.

At that time, the Eastern Panhandle region, specifically Berkeley County, was seeing the highest rate of new coronavirus cases in the state.

Recently, Monongalia County has taken that lead with more than 800 coronavirus cases to-date, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

Meanwhile, other hospitals in West Virginia, including Boone Memorial in Madison, have reinstated a no visitor policy.

Similarly, some nursing homes in West Virginia have also had to reinstate visitor restrictions after outbreaks of COVID-19. Most recently, Princeton Health Care Center in Mercer County, currently has a confirmed total of at least 30 COVID-19 cases, according to Gov. Jim Justice’s office.

Visitation restrictions at nursing homes were lifted on June 17 in West Virginia, but only if a facility has had no cases of COVID-19 for the 14 consecutive day period following that date.