Carney Hospital preps for CONVID-19 cases, bans visitors 12 and under

A 2017 file photo shows the Carney Hospital's newly-enhanced Emergency Department.

Children 12-and-under can come to Carney for medical care, but cannot visit hospitalized patients

Dorchester's only hospital is continuing to see regular appointments and elective procedures today as it braces for the "likelihood that patients with coronavirus infections will require treatment" at their facilities on Dorchester Avenue. Kids 12-years-old and under are prohibited from visiting patients at the Carney while the state of emergency continues. Children under 12 can continue to go to Carney for medical care.

In response to an inquiry from the Reporter, a spokesperson for Steward Health Care— which owns the Carney— said a number of "preparedness action steps" are underway, including:

• "Daily strategy meetings to review the latest information and recommendations being issued by the CDC and DPH;

• Implementation of coordination protocols in place to effectively communicate with public health officials;

• Development of an Emergency Management staffing plan in case of an escalating outbreak;

• Maintaining sufficient levels of Personal Protective Equipment (masks, gloves, gowns, eye protection, etc.) and hand hygiene supplies;

• Rapid Triage Procedures in place to promptly identify and isolate suspected patients;

• Creation of a surge capacity isolation area within the hospital."

In a statement attributed to Steward Health Care Leadership and posted on the Carney website, the strict visitor policy is explained this way:

"Children ages 12 and under not seeking medical treatment will not be permitted to visit any Steward hospitals until further notice beginning today, Tuesday, March 10th. Additionally, those outside this age group who feel sick and are not seeking care are asked to avoid visiting hospitals or other health care facilities for the protection of patients, hospital staff and the broader community. Please help us to keep our communities safe."

Carney is a 159-bed hospital with an emergency department located at 2100 Dorchester Ave.