ARHS allows one designated visitor per patient within specific guidelines

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Last Updated on June 10, 2020 3:21 pm

June 10, 2020 (Boone, NC) – Effective June 10th, each patient at Watauga Medical Center (WMC) and Cannon Memorial Hospital (CMH) will be able to designate one visitor/advocate to accompany them during their hospital stay between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The designated visitor must be the same person for the duration of the patient’s hospital stay, and another visitor cannot be substituted if the designated visitor is unable to come on any given day. The designated visitor is encouraged to bring any required medication and personal hygiene items with them.

“We are closely monitoring those coming in and out of our facilities to ensure the utmost safety for our patients and staff,” said Amy Crabbe, Chief Operating Officer for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System.
Patients and visitors should enter Watauga Medical Center through the Emergency Entrance for temperature check and visitor registration.

Each designated visitor must:

• Be age 13 or older.

• Have their temperature checked by ARHS staff at the facility entrance.

• Bring their own face covering and wear it at all times.

• Stay at the facility in the patient’s room.

Visitors may not come and go from the facility multiple times in a day. Once here, they should remain here for the duration of the approved visit. Upon leaving, visitors will not be able to return until the next day, or receive special permission of the House Supervisor on duty.

Visitors should not be in common areas such as hallways and waiting rooms. Cafeterias are closed for visitors; however, the visitor may request a complimentary guest tray for each meal from the patient's nurse.

“ARHS values family members and caregivers as part of each patient’s care team,” said Crabbe, “We feel it’s important, with necessary safety precautions, to allow a visitor to support each patient during their stay.”

The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly developing situation and visitor restrictions may be subject to change based on current data as well as state and local guidance or regulations.

For more information about ARHS’s response to COVID-19, visit

How to protect yourself from COVID-19:

  • Stay home
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Maintain six feet apart from others
  • If you must go in public, wear a mask
  • Cover coughs or sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces
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