LITTLE ROCK — Due to the increase in cases of COVID-19 in the community and the facility, patient visitation at Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System facilities is reverting to an exception-only basis. This policy went into effect July 20 to preserve the safety of veterans and health care workers as CAVHS responds to this surge of the pandemic.

Exception-only means visitation for inpatient veterans must be prearranged with the clinical staff. Only one visitor over the age of 18 will be allowed per veteran to ensure proper safety precautions for patients and health care workers.

For outpatient visits, the exception-only visitation policy means veterans who need assistance may bring one caregiver over the age of 18 to attend their appointment. All other visitors or drivers will not be allowed inside the facilities.

Everyone entering the facilities are required to complete screening questions and have their temperature taken. Visitors should allow up to 10 minutes to complete this process. Universal masking and strict social distancing guidelines are enforced inside the facilities.

“With COVID-19 cases on the rise in Arkansas, we, too, are seeing more COVID-19 cases related to community spread,” a news release states. “Reverting to our exception-only visitation policy was a very tough decision to make, but the safety and health of our veteran patients and frontline health care workers are our priorities during this surge of statewide cases.”