Central Carolina Hospital in Sanford will reimplement a zero-visitor policy beginning Thursday, according to a press release from the hospital.

The hospital in its release cited “the rising number of COVID-19 cases and the increased rate of transmission in Lee County.”

There are, however, exceptions including one well visitor that has been screened for patients in pediatrics and delivery, and well visitors for end of life care at the discretion of CCH care teams. Additional exceptions may be made on a case by case basis, according to the hospital.

Additionally, outpatient patients will be allowed one well visitor – an exception that will allow the visitor to be screened alongside the patient prior to entering the clinic and accompany the patient to facilitate care for a procedure, treatment or same-day surgery.

Visitors will not be permitted in the Emergency Department, or the lobby or waiting room, but a well visitor that has been screened may accompany pediatric patients in the ER.

“We understand these new restrictions may be difficult for many in our community and we apologize for any inconvenience they may cause, but we feel these protective measures are necessary for the health and safety of our patients and team,” said Spencer Thomas, CEO of Central Carolina Hospital. “Our team, along with our community partners, are monitoring COVID-19 closely, and we will reassess and adjust the visitor policy as the number of positive cases subsides locally and we feel it’s safe and appropriate to do so.”