Lifespan ‘strongly discouraging’ patient visits at its hospitals


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island’s largest hospital group put out a notice Friday night that it’s “strongly discouraging” any patient visitation in light of local coronavirus cases.

Lifespan’s facilities include Rhode Island Hospital, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, The Miriam Hospital, Bradley Hospital, and Newport Hospital.

The announcement came less than two hours after the R.I. Department of Health reported a third “presumptive” positive case of the virus. Earlier on Friday, residential skilled nursing facilities were directed by the health department to limit visitation hours.

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Below is the full advisory sent out by Lifespan spokesperson Christina O’Reilly:

In light of local cases of COVID-19, Lifespan hospital officials are now strongly discouraging any patient visitation. This includes family/friends accompanying those who come to our hospitals’ emergency departments. We are making this effort to minimize traffic in our patient care areas out of an abundance of caution.

“Children 12 and younger, even siblings, cannot visit Hasbro Children’s Hospital and are discouraged from visiting patients in all other locations.

“We all have a role to play in helping to contain the spread of this virus. Minimizing the number of people in our hospitals will greatly safeguard our patients, families and caregivers. We know this is a hardship for patients and families and we appreciate the patience and understanding of the community.

“Simple precautions remain the first line of defense against respiratory viruses. Lifespan urges the public to please continue to follow the usual guidelines:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you’re unable to wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched frequently (e.g., phones, doorknobs).
  • Stay home if you are sick.

“As Lifespan continues to monitor the situation, additional visitor restrictions may be required.  Please see our website at for the latest information on visitor restrictions.”

Anyone who has questions regarding the virus can call the R.I. Department of Health at (401) 222-8022 or visit the department’s website.

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