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Citing a decline in Covid-19 cases locally, Doctors Hospital of Sarasota and Sarasota Memorial Hospital have relaxed patient visitor hours and resumed non-emergency surgeries.

At Sarasota Memorial Hospital, visitors must be 16 or older and may visit between 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Most inpatients may have up to two visitors; however, certain departments, including the mother-baby unit, critical care and neonatal intensive care unit, have department-specific guidelines and visitors should check with the unit before visiting. Surgical, procedural and testing patients may have one support person accompany them; that person must remain in designated waiting areas. SMH is still restricting visitors for patients with suspected or confirmed Covid-19, with exceptions for extraordinary circumstances such as end-of-life situations. 

The new visiting guidelines go into effect at SMH on Friday, Oct. 1, nearly 2 months after the fourth wave of the pandemic forced the health system to limit visitors in the hospital and suspend elective and non-emergency surgeries.

At Doctors Hospital, visiting hours are now similar to what they were prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Patients may have visitors from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days a week. No visitors are allowed in the ICU and Covid-19 patients are also not allowed to have visitors. Emergency room patients may have one visitor per patient at a time; similarly, patients undergoing procedures may have one visitor per patient and visitors must wait in a designated waiting area until the patient is admitted to a room.

At both hospitals, all visitors must wear a mask at all times.

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