Centra sees patients come to test for coronavirus, banning hospital visitors

Centra officials say some tests have come back negative, waiting for more results.

LYNCHBURG, Va. – If you have a family member in a Centra hospital in the Lynchburg-area, you won’t’ be allowed to see them for some time.

Centra CEO Andrew Mueller said the change is in an effort to keep their patients safe.

People who come to Centra hospitals will be greeted with a sign saying: “Visitation is prohibited—out of an abundance of caution for our patients and caregivers, routine visitors will not be allowed in Centra hospitals until further notice.”

In a news conference on Monday, Centra said they have had several people tested for COVID-19.

Some of those results have come back negative, while for others they are still waiting for results.

Just last week, Centra set up a couple testing sites and saw a number of patients come in who were referred by their physicians.

Centra leaders would not give us an exact number of how many people they’ve tested but say it’s less than 10. They also say the testing sites have been doing well.

“It’s busy but they are not overwhelmed the people there are doing a great job. The people there are doing a great job. They’ve really done a fantastic job of setting up the process,” Chris Thomson, chief medical officer

“We’re at war with this virus. We really are. We don’t have bullets. We don’t have antibiotics, but what we do have is the ability to prevent the virus from spreading from one person to the other,” Mueller said.

Starting at 5 p.m. Monday, Centra will prohibit visitor access at the following locations:

  • Lynchburg General Hospital
  • Virginia Baptist Hospital
  • Southside Community Hospital
  • Bedford Memorial Hospital
  • Gretna Emergency Department

There will be a few exceptions:

  • For obstetrical patients, one visitor will be permitted
  • For pediatric patients, one visitor will be permitted (parent or legal guardian)
  • Other exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis
  • Exceptions will be made for patients receiving end of life care
  • Approved visitors, as well as outpatients with scheduled appointments, will be screened prior to entry

Outpatients who have scheduled appointments in the hospitals will be allowed entry.

Effective immediately, Centra is canceling all non-essential surgeries and procedures.

Procedures and conditions will continue to be performed if deemed medically necessary.

If they are considered non-essential, the cases will be postponed.