Baptist Health Madisonville and the Hopkins County Jail are both suspending visitation at their respective facilities effective immediately due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Hopkins County.

Baptist suspended visitation for most patients in the hospital and medical group practices today, and will allow only essential caregivers to accompany patients for medical appointments or tests. There will be very limited exceptions, said company officials.

“Our community is again experiencing a significant surge in the COVID positivity rate,” stated Christy Littrell, chief nursing officer at Baptist Health Madisonville. “This change, while difficult, is for the increased safety of our patients and to aid in protecting the health of our staff so they can continue to be healthy to provide care for those in need. We must keep patient and staff safety our top priority.”

The main hospital entrance will be closed to all visitors and no floral deliveries will be accepted.

Visitation will be stopped for all hospital inpatient units, including the Critical Care Unit. The Mahr Cancer Center will only allow one essential caregiver, if necessary, and must be preapproved by the unit director.

At the hospital, one essential caregiver will be allowed for:

• patients under age 18 (one parent or guardian)

• women in labor (one birthing partner)

• NICU (both parents)

• end-of-life patients (one clergy member upon request)

• hospice or end-of-life patients (family visitation on case-by-case basis)

• dependent patients who require assistance (one caregiver)

• emergency room patients (one support person if patient is non-Covid)

Those allowed to accompany a patient will be screened prior to visitation and must wear a mask at all times in the facilities.

For Baptist Health Medical Group offices and outpatient facilities, a single essential caregiver will be allowed for:

• children under age 18 (one parent)

• dependent adult who requires assistance (one caregiver)

• OB/GYN office visits (one support person)

For the latest information on Baptist Health Madisonville policies and response to COVID-19, visit BaptistHealth.com or follow Baptist Health Madisonville on social media.

In addition to visitation, the county jail has also suspended all community service programs, in-house programs and volunteer services.

According to a statement on the jail’s social media page, the jail’s “goal is to prevent the spread of the virus by minimizing inmate to inmate contact as well as inmate to civilian contact by restricting movement inside the facility.”

Friday, Sept. 17 was listed as a potential date for visitation to be reinstated at the jail.

Last week, Jailer Mike Lewis confirmed the first positive COVID-19 case among its inmate population.