Appling Healthcare has suspended hospital visits due to an increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Appling and surrounding counties.

Effective immediately, Appling Healthcare announces the following procedural changes are in place until further notice.

• Visitors will NOT be allowed except for extenuating circumstances or compassionate care, such as end-of-life. These decisions are made under the direction/order of the attending physician and on a case-by-case basis.

• All patient visits to Appling Healthcare’s main hospital are suspended except one parent or caregiver for patients under the age of 18.

• All staff within the main hospital, nursing home, and physician clinics are being screened daily.

• All patients must have an order from a physician or provider for all outpatient services, unless seeking emergency care.

• Appling Healthcare’s physician clinics are requiring all patients to call prior to their visits, as they currently are not accepting any walk-ins. Patients under the age of 18 must be accompanied by one adult only.

As a reminder, the following measures continue to be in place:

• All patients should use the Outpatient/Emergency Entrance. When entering the hospital, please go directly to admissions to begin the required screening. This brief process consists of a quick screening for possible coronavirus symptoms along with questions about their recent travel history and any interactions with individuals diagnosed with COVID-19.

These decisions are based on Appling Healthcare’s focus on the safety and well-being of patients, staff and community. All restrictions and procedural changes are temporary, but may change as Appling Healthcare continues to monitor the coronavirus. Updates will be provided as soon as they become available.

Appling Healthcare is continuing to closely monitor COVID-19 in partnership with local and state health agencies and the Centers for Disease Control.

Hospital officials continue to ask that patients contact their primary care physicians if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. However, if you are experiencing an emergency medical condition of any kind, you should still go to the emergency room as soon as possible or call 911.

For the latest information regarding COVID-19 and tips on protecting yourself and others, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html and information on county positivity rate, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.