Back to the Purple Tier Updates & Vaccine news
Unfortunately, OC is back in the purple tier this week so there have been some changes and updates in the hospital policies. However, most of these visitor policy changes do not apply to L&D and the Postpartum floor, hooray!
The current visitor policy continues to be one support person per patient delivering. That one person can stay overnight and leave the hospital and come back. Masks are encouraged for everyone, although I have been having my patients who test negative for Covid the day of labor take off their mask while pushing :)
Patients will be allowed a certified doula, and they must comply with PPE and infection prevention guidelines.
The NICU continues to allow two people per baby and they can visit at the same time.
Also, all medical record requests from the hospital ( not our office) must be made electronically.
The side entrance that was separate for the maternity floors, has been closed and everyone must enter through the main entrance where there is thermal sensor. There is a separate line for the maternity floors though - not that I have ever really seen a line there.
If you are scheduled for induction or scheduled Cesarean please get your COVID test a few days prior to admission and continue to quarantine diligently until admission. Everyone who arrives in labor will be offered a rapid Covid test, this helps to identify asymptomatic patients so we can continue to protect hospital staff and babies.
As far as the vaccine goes, unfortunately no pregnant women were included in the current trials, but they are supposed to be included in future ones. Theoretically because it is not a live attenuated vaccine it should be safe in pregnancy. I think it will have to be an individualized decision based on risks vs benefits. Hopefully, the pregnant women and children will be part of the people protected by herd immunity until there is widespread vaccination. ACOG ( American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) is working on a statement regarding the vaccines.
I am not sure when we will be able to achieve that herd immunity since there are a lot of people who are skeptical of vaccines (the ones we have now which have good data), and other people (like myself) who like some long term data before using a medication. If you are wondering about my personal preferences, I think I might consider getting the vaccine but I would hesitate giving it to my girls until I had at least 5 year data in children. For now, I am hoping we can continue to ramp up rapid, accurate testing so we can get back to "normal."
I am really hoping we can keep schools open as don't seem to be sources of spread.
In the meantime continue good hand hygiene, wearing masks, staying outdoors with people outside of your immediate household--especially over the holidays- and just doing essential things only. I get it- grooming might be off. I don't think I have gone so long without eyebrow threading since high school.
Reminder - everyone get your flu shots. Be safe.