Olean General Hospital suspends most visitations due to COVID concerns

Oct 6, 2020

Citing a community spread of COVID, Olean General Hospital announced Tuesday it is temporarily halting all visitations, with the exception of end-of-life patients and individuals designated as support persons for maternity patients.

Upper Allegheny Health System, a Kaleida Health member which oversees opreations at Olean General, released a written statement on local COVID infections and the measures they are taking with the hope of curbing it.

Dr. William Mills, chief medical officer for UAHS, writes: “Everyone needs to remain vigilant by taking the necessary precautions.  At OGH our staff and our physicians take this very seriously and make every effort to keep our patients and themselves  safe. Locally we have noted that especially younger people have ignored safety measures.

“We are taking no chances. Out of an abundance of caution we are suspending patient visitation at OGH for 30 days with the exception of end of life situations and obstetrics visitation. We have new capabilities to arrange for virtual visits via Ipad. We are also suspending student rotations in the hospital until November 1.

“As a community we all need to do everything within our power to halt the spread of this virus.  We must remain focused as the likelihood of continued community spread increases as colleges and high schools are now in session and flu season is upon us. We can’t stop COVID, but we can significantly decrease the risks to our employees, family and community becoming infected if we all do our part – not just in the hospital, but in the community.  Remember – wash your hands, wear your mask and maintain your distance.

 “We have seen patient and employee positive cases at OGH before during this entire pandemic as have most hospitals. Today is no different.  The fact is that COVID is present at most hospitals. It is part of what hospitals everywhere now deal with.”

UAHS has also released the steps it is taking to address COVID wtihin Olean General Hospital:

  • Screening everyone upon entering the hospital.  
  • Visitors are asked screening questions and temperature checked before entering.  
  • Employees are expected to report if they have symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 or if they have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent.
  • Enforcing masking policy, meaning everyone must wear a mask at all times.
  • Vigorously enforce hand washing for everyone in the building.
  • Continually updating staff with the facts.
  • Posting appropriate signage is all areas.
  • Creating space for social distancing.

Those steps, according to hospital officials, have been worked out in cooperation with the Cattaraugus County Health Department.