SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — Sarasota Memorial Hospital will not allow visitors starting Monday, Aug. 2 in response to surging COVID-19 cases in the area, the hospital announced.
“We know how important visitor support is to our patients, but these new restrictions are for everyone’s protection,” said Chief Medical Officer James Fiorica in a news release.
There are some exceptions to the policy. The hospital says a limited number of visitors will be allowed for "end-of-life" care, patients in labor and delivery units and children who have been admitted to the pediatric unit.
SMH says it will be available to connect families and friends over the phone for those who cannot visit. Patients will be provided iPads and technical assistance if needed.
Florida's surge in COVID-19 cases appears to be happening faster and more dramatically than previous increases throughout the pandemic, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
The state reported a total of 16,038 new cases to the CDC for Tuesday, July 27. It was back on Jan. 15 when the state last reported a day with more than 16,000 cases.
The seven-day moving average of new cases tops 13,502 cases — a moving average not seen since the middle of winter when Florida experienced its worst outbreak of reported coronavirus cases.
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