Lake Charles Memorial Hospital implements new visitor guidelines

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 9:36 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Delta variant.

“Reports show that it’s 60% more contagious than even the alpha variant, which was the b117 that we experienced previously,” said Region five Medical Director Lacey Cavanaugh.

In region 5, which covers us here in Southwest Louisiana, cases have been increasing.

“My recommendation is to go get vaccinated and not to wait because the threat is here and it’s real, I think these rises in our cases are due to Delta.”

Over at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, they are taking an aggressive but necessary step.

“We’re getting our ducks in a row, so to say,” said Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operating Officer for Memorial Gerald Bryant.

They are bringing back visitation guidelines.

“At a basic level, the guidelines are returned to covid visitation from a number of months ago,” he said.

Going into effect Wednesday, Bryant explains, the situation in the hospital is changing.

“I will tell you that last night, we’ve seen a remarkable change, Lake Charles Memorial Health System, 1701 oak park blvd looks different than this morning (Wednesday) than it did yesterday (Tuesday), when I walked into work, we have doubled the number of covid positive patients that have been admitted to the hospital overnight,” he said.

In the meantime, active screenings, along with other guidelines are back.

“On the inpatient side, it’s one designated visitor,” he said. “So the patient selects whom they want to be their visitor, we will ask that the visitors are required to wear their masks when they come to the hospital and bring their own, the visitor is asked to stay in the patient’s room and to stay masked at all times.”

As for covid patients, this is what he had to say.

“For covid patients, they can have a designated visitor, the designated visitor does have to wear all the personal protective equipment when they’re in the room the entire time, including masking.”

We reached out to West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital to see if they are changing their guidelines, and in a statement they said --

“West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital takes our obligation to provide a safe and clean environment for our patients and employees seriously. Our leadership team meets daily to discuss safety processes and protocols, including our visitor and facility entrance policy.

At this time, we are not implementing any changes to our current limited visitation guidelines. However, we are monitoring the situation closely. Any changes to our visitor policy will be announced through the hospital’s official communication channels.

WCCH continues to encourage our community to wash their hands often, stay home if you’re sick, and consider receiving the COVID-19 vaccine if you have not already done so.”

For a full list of area-specific guidelines at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, you can visit their website at

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