Care New England Implements No Visitor Policy Amidst Coronavirus Concerns

(Providence, RI) – Dr. James Fanale, President and CEO of Care New England has announced that in the interest of patient and staff wellness and safety, Care New England (CNE) is implementing a system-wide no visitor policy. The policy includes all CNE hospitals, including Kent, Butler and Women & Infants Hospital. 

“Patients come into our hospitals when they are made vulnerable by illness. They should never need to be concerned that their safety or health is put further at risk when they are with us. We are very aware that ongoing cases of COVID-19 in the US makes it likely that the infection is now, or will soon be, moving through our community. Evidence to date suggests that many people with COVID-19 may have only mild cough and cold symptoms or may even be asymptomatic. However, evidence to date also suggests that patients who are weakened by illness may be at increased risk of serious complications or even death from COVID-19. For this reason, we feel it is best today and for the near future to take a very significant step to prevent the possibility of transmission of COVID-19 by visitors to hospital patients,” said Robin Neale, MS, MT (ASCP) SM, CIC, FAPIC, director of clinical effectiveness and infection prevention, CNE. 

Effective immediately CNE will restrict visitation as follows:

- Adult Inpatients will not be allowed visitors at Kent Hospital, Women & Infants Hospital and Butler Hospital.
- Obstetric Inpatients will be allowed one designated support person during their stay, and a pre-designated doula while in labor, if applicable.
- NICU patients will be allowed only two designated support persons during their stay.
- Emergency Department patients will be allowed only one accompanying adult and that person’s duration of stay in patient areas will be limited. 

Only persons essential to patient mobility, and/or comprehension will be allowed to accompany patients into diagnostic imaging, laboratory and ambulatory/outpatient service areas of the hospital. In very limited circumstances, exceptions may be made to this visiting policy at the discretion of medical and/or nursing leadership. 

“We understand this policy will represent a significant hardship for both patients and families. We do not take this lightly. However, we believe that at this point in time- with the presently evolving risks of transmission in the community- this is the best way to protect the vulnerable patients who have trusted us with their care,” added Neale. 

Each CNE hospital will have communications and assigned staff to help patients, families, friends and staff to be aware of our temporary restriction on visitation and work to facilitate those limited individuals able to visit obstetric and NICU patients. 

This is a temporary policy that CNE will adjust as new and updated information about coronavirus emerges.

About Care New England

Care New England Health System is a trusted organization that fuels the latest advances in medical research, attracts the nation’s top specialty-trained doctors, hones renowned services and innovative programs, and engages in the important discussions people need to have about their health and end-of-life wishes. Care New England is helping to transform the future of health care, providing a leading voice in the ongoing effort to ensure the health of the individuals and communities we serve.

CNE was founded in 1996, and today it is the parent organization of Butler Hospital, Kent Hospital, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Care New England Medical Group, the VNA of Care New England, The Providence Center, and Integra, a certified accountable care organization (ACO). Care New England includes 970 licensed beds and 216 infant bassinets. Through Butler, Kent, and Women & Infants hospitals, Care New England has a teaching and research affiliation with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Kent is also a teaching affiliate of The University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine.