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Community Medical Center institutes stricter visitor restrictions

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Posted at 1:18 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 15:18:59-04

MISSOULA — Community Medical Center in Missoula has announced stricter visitor restrictions due to ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns.

CMC spokeswoman Megan Condra says that “out of an abundance of caution, we are implementing strict visitor restrictions, moving to a zero-visitor protocol, and will be limiting entry points to the hospital.”

There will now be only two entrance points to the hospital for the general public-- the emergency department off of South Avenue and the main hospital entrance off of Fort Missoula Road. Screening has been set up at each entrance and all visitors are advised to follow posted signage and directives from on-site CMC employees.

Missoula's Saint Patrick Hospital has also put in place stricter visitation policies due to COVID-19.

The following information was provided by CMC in a news release:

Visitor Restrictions (Inpatient Units)

To limit the spread of infectious illnesses, in-person visits will not be allowed. CMC is encouraging patients and their families to communicate through phone and video chat.

Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for the following:

  • Children admitted to the hospital Pediatric Unit & Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Maternity Units
  • NICU
  • Patients receiving end-of-life care

All visitors must be 18 years or older. Visitors will be asked to return home if they exhibit cold or flu-like symptoms or have a fever.

Outpatient Clinics

Patients who have mobility or cognitive issues being seen in an outpatient clinic may only be accompanied by one adult support person.

Elective / Discretionary Procedures

To meet the acute healthcare needs of our patients, Community Medical Center is working with physicians and medical providers to make thoughtful decisions regarding postponing elective/discretionary inpatient and outpatient surgeries for non-life threatening and non-urgent care at our hospital. This will be reviewed on a day-to-day basis. If the public health department reports community spread of COVID-19 in Western Montana, we will suspend elective/discretionary inpatient and outpatient surgeries for non-life threatening and non-urgent care with cases reviewed daily. This action is directly related to our efforts to effectively respond to COVID-19 care, prevention and supply conservation.

Where to Go

In order to minimize the risk of exposing others, we are directing patients who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19, or have respiratory or flu-like symptoms, to call their primary care provider or call our free 24/7 Nurse on Call line at (406) 327-4770 for instructions on seeking care. Patients may also check-in online or walk-in to one of our Focused Screening Centers. We are working with our Community Physician Group clinics for appropriate triaging and other area clinics and facilities for similar responses.

Focused Screening Centers :

  • FirstCare, North Reserve - Adults (age 18+)
  • FirstCare, Downtown Missoula (starting March 18) - Children (newborns – age 17)
  • Online check-in at CommunityFirstCare.com