Coronavirus: Hartford HealthCare to Restrict Visitors at Hospitals, Skilled-Nursing Facilities

Jeff Flaks
Print icon

Updated March 12

Hartford HealthCare is restricting visitation to its seven-hospital network and prohibiting visitors, with few exceptions, to its skilled-nursing facility as a precaution during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“These are unprecedented times,” said President and CEO Jeff Flaks, above, at a March 10 news conference at the Hartford HealthCare
Care Logistics Center in Newington, now serving as its COVID-19 Clinical Command Center. “We are asking people across the entire healthcare system to work through issues that were almost impossible to plan for.”

The restrictions, effective immediately, allow one visitor per patient at each hospital. (On March 12, those restrictions were expanded to include no visitors under age 16.)

“Visitors will be screened for symptoms or travel,” said Dr. Ajay Kumar, Hartford HealthCare’s Chief Medical Officer.

Kumar also said visitors to nursing-home patients will be allowed only in exceptional circumstances, such as visits to patients in end-of-life care.

Dr. Daniel Kombert, Hartford HealthCare’s Chief Clinical Officer, also directed the public to Hartford HealthCare as a source of accurate information during this health crisis. Last week, Hartford HealthCare launched a hotline (860.972.8100 or, toll-free, 833.621.0600) as a 24-hour information source with a staff that includes medical professionals. Already, it has received more than 1,000 calls from clinicians and consumers across the country.

At the news conference, Hartford HealthCare also announced a text-alert system for the latest developments available by texting 31996, with “Covid19” in the message field. (Hartford HealthCare already has a web page devoted to coronavirus. Click here.)

“We live in an amazing time,” said Dr. Kombert. “The public has an enormous amount of information at their fingertips. The sad thing is a lot of the information they are  getting — particularly from the Internet — is wrong. We are updating our information continuously.”

At a March 11 news conference, Hartford HealthCare officials announced a pilot program for both virtual and drive-through COVID-19 assessments. Patients would first contact the hotline, allowing a medical professional to determine if a virtual visit is required. A doctor at the Clinical Command Center could order tests at a local center where a clinician could take a sample with a nose swab. The patient would then be sent home to await test results.

“Individuals who might have some symptoms or a travel history can drive up to a location and be tested without having to step out of the car,” said Dr. Kumar.

Not feeling well? Call your healthcare provider for guidance and try to avoid going directly to an emergency department or urgent care center, as this could increase the chances of the disease spreading.

Click here to schedule a virtual visit with a Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent care doctor.

Stay with Hartford HealthCare for everything you need to know about the coronavirus threat. Click here for information updated daily.

Questions? Call our 24-hour hotline (860.972.8100 or, toll-free, 833.621.0600). 

Get text alerts by texting 31996 with COVID19 in the message field.

 


What's New

Pancreatic Cancer

Free Pancreatic Care Webinar June 11

The fourth leading cause of cancer death in both men and women, pancreatic cancer, is an aggressive form of the disease that often exhibits few symptoms until it is advanced. Approximately 57,000 Americans will be diagnosed with it this year, according to the American Cancer Society. About 47,000 will die...

Jeffrey A. Flaks

A Message From Hartford HealthCare CEO Jeffrey Flaks

With the concerns about coronavirus and COVID-19, I want to assure you that Hartford HealthCare is doing everything possible to protect the safety and well-being of the people and the communities we serve, and our team of healthcare providers. Our goal is to be ready and prepared for whatever is...

Quite Smoking

Trying to Quit Smoking? Here’s Some Help

Editor’s note: Initial studies have shown that if you smoke and get COVID-19, you’re 14 times more likely than nonsmokers to require intensive treatment. If you’ve considered stopping smoking, now is a good time. By Ellen Anderson Dornelas, PhD Director, Cancer Care Delivery and Disparities Research Hartford Healthcare Cancer Institute...

Pancreatic Cancer Recovery

How to Manage Pancreatic Cancer Treatment’s Side Effects

A pancreatic cancer survivor is any person who is actively facing pancreatic cancer or has faced it at some point. It could be someone who has completed treatment or a patient actively receiving chemotherapy for a limited or long-term management of their disease. Patients treated with chemotherapy experience a variety...

Breast Cancer Awareness

The New Normal for Breast Cancer Survivors

The word “patient” stems from the Latin word patiens, meaning sufferer. Until recently, a diagnosis of cancer conveyed a sense of victimhood and loss of control, hence labels such as “cancer patient” or “cancer victim.” Despite good intentions, these terms left those with a cancer diagnosis feeling isolated and somehow...


Art exhibit helps ease the anxiety of cancer treatment

Rounded and slightly distorted, the photos give the feel of looking through a ship’s thick glass porthole or the domed eye of a fish at a view that is both wondrous and intriguing. Two dozen pieces from the collection of regarded Wethersfield photographer Jack McConnell’s “Hartford Parallax: ‘Round Hartford” collection...