Huntington Hospital Sets Visitation Restrictions | COVID Tests Still Limited for LA

Huntington Hospital braces for surge in patients while Pasadena Public Health Department continues with laboratories and clinicians on combating the virus

PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | News | Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, CA

Pasadena’s Huntington Hospital says its experience with previous infectious diseases such as SARS and MARS has proven its preparedness to deal with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). It has set up “surge tents” in case it needs more room to screen patients but as of March 16 does not need them.

As an operational matter, Huntington has cancelled all elective surgeries, classes, events and support groups (the full list is here). It has also restricted its visitor policy. Any visitor with signs and symptoms of illness may not visit hospitalized patients. Visitation is also restricted as follows:

— One healthy parent at a time for pediatric and neonatal intensive care unit patients.

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— One healthy birth partner for labor, delivery, postpartum and recovery units.

— One healthy visitor for all patients having medically necessary procedures, including surgery, outpatient surgery, GI Lab, radiology, catheterization lab, etc.

— One healthy visitor for all emergency room patients.

Exceptions to the policy may be made for those patients receiving end-of-life care or who have extraordinary circumstances. Further information on visiting is here.

Additional information on COVID-19 itself, and other resources for patients and health care providers, along with a list of “trusted health authorities can be found here.

The information includes an edifying list of directions for health care workers on how to evaluate patients who may have the disease.

The Pasadena Public Health Department has also put together a comprehensive page on the virus.

Pasadena Public Health Department Says COVID Testing Still Limited

There is still only a limited supply of COVID-19 testing available in Los Angeles County, according to the Pasadena Public Health Department, and to qualify for testing a person must meet criteria outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including a relevant travel history and symptoms of respiratory illness.

PPHD says anyone concerned they may have contracted COVID-19 should call their private physician. If the physician is able, he or she will collect the appropriate sample and process it accordingly, or if emergency care is required, will refer the patient to hospital.

If the doctor does not have access to a commercial lab, PPHD said it can help coordinate sending specimens to the Los Angeles County Public Health Lab or California Department of Public Health lab.

Clinicians and laboratories are required to immediately report all cases of COVID-19 to PPHD. According to the most recent report issued March 16, two cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Pasadena, and one in South Pasadena.


Ben Tansey
Ben Tansey is a journalist and author. He grew up in the South Bay and is a graduate of Evergreen State College. He worked in Washington State as a reporter in a rural timber community and for many years as an editor for a Western electric energy policy publication based in Seattle.