Lowell General Hospital imposes visitor restrictions to prevent COVID-19 spread

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LOWELL — Lowell General Hospital will restrict visitation to protect patients and staff, and limit the spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Effective immediately, each patient is limited to two visitors at a time, and all visitors must be at least 18 years old.

The following individuals are discouraged from visiting the hospital, unless urgent: those who have recently traveled to a country identified as having widespread local transmission, and those with upper respiratory tract symptoms, including fever or cough.

“The hospital encourages members of the community to refrain from visiting the hospital or outpatient centers unless they have a scheduled appointment or urgent need,” Lowell General Hospital Spokesman William Courtney announced in a news release.

The decision to impose visitor restrictions was made under the guidance of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Lowell Department of Public Health.

Patients with a fever, cough or shortness of breath should call a doctor before seeking in-person care at a hospital, urgent care center or doctor’s office, according to the release.

“Your primary care provider can often evaluate your symptoms over the phone and suggest a care plan,” the release states.

The hospital recommends washing your hands often, not touching your face, cleaning areas that are frequently touched, covering coughs with a tissue or elbow, and staying home if you are sick.

“Lowell General Hospital is well prepared to care for patients with this illness and to protect all other patients and their families, as well as our healthcare providers and staff,” the release states.

“We will continue to closely follow the latest guidance from federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state Department of Public Health and will scale our COVID-19 response accordingly.”