New Mexico hospitals to resume patient visitations

June 27, 2020 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Hospitals in New Mexico have started to loosen restrictions that kept family and friends from visiting patients.

“It’s all about the safety for the patients. Safe for the patient, safe for the staff at the hospital,” said Robert Underwood, chief medical officer at San Juan Regional Medical Center. Underwood said the move could help patients in the healing process.

San Juan Regional Medical Center has announced that patients who have not tested positive for COVID-19 will be allowed one visitor. Visitations are still prohibited for patients who have tested positive.


Visitation hours start as early as Monday at the hospital in Farmington, San Juan Regional Medical Center, KOAT-TV reported.

Lovelace Medical Center, Presbyterian Hospital and the University of New Mexico Hospital, all in Albuquerque, have also announced similar visitation policies with only one visit each day with facial covering requirements, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

Visitors will be screened for fever and other health conditions and must stay in the patient’s room.

The state recorded 122 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Saturday, its lowest since April 24, health officials said.

“We are reaping the rewards now of a lot of proactive behavior in the state that has minimized the spread of the disease and we’re seeing that in our hospitals. And as the census has come down for COVID-19 positive patients, it’s not putting as much of a strain on us,” said Troy Greer, CEO of Lovelace Medical Center and the Heart Hospital of New Mexico.

On Saturday, the state reported 209 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases with two additional deaths, which raised the state’s totals to at least 11,619 confirmed cases with at least 491 deaths.

The bulk of the reported additional cases were in San Juan County (78), Bernalillo County (37), Dona Ana County (24) and McKinley County 23).

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. But for some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.