Wayne Memorial Restricts Visitors, Cancels Support Groups, Advises on Testing

(Honesdale, March 13, 2020)….Wayne Memorial Hospital has no patients with the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 in the hospital at this time, but it is enacting certain visitor and group restrictions to help prevent the spread of the virus and of the flu to the hospital or any of its patients, staff and visitors.  Symptoms of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 include fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath.

The hospital is not a testing site for the COVID-19 virus, but it can facilitate tests authorized by the Department of Health (DOH). Hospital staff are able to take samples which the DOH picks up and delivers to a state lab, where the samples are tested.  Result times vary. CEO David Hoff said this situation could change and tests could become more available locally in the near future.

Visitors: if you have respiratory symptoms—a cough, fever, shortness of breath:

  • …and your visit is not essential to a patient’s well-being, the hospital asks that you do not visit at this time.
  • If you have those symptoms and your visit is essential – you are a parent, spouse, adult child, primary caregiver—ASK FOR A MASK at Registration or the nurse’s station on the floor you are visiting.
  • If you have a scheduled appointment and respiratory symptoms, ASK FOR A MASK at Registration.
  • Children under 12 with some exceptions are discouraged from visiting. Call ahead to the unit for instructions.


“We are doing this out of an abundance of caution,” said CEO David Hoff. “Both the flu and novel coronavirus or COVID-19 are contagious and our goal is to stop or slow down the spread of both as much as we can.”

Hoff asked that anyone who is experiencing the above symptoms or has traveled to an area identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as an affected area call their healthcare provider before a visit. “It helps the office staff prepare for that visit in case PPE (personal protection equipment) such as a face mask is required.” He added that shortness of breath is a serious symptom and should be seen immediately. “Call ahead to the Emergency Department so they can be prepared also.”

The hospital has cancelled its support group meetings for Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Stroke, Compassionate Friends and Pike County’s Tick-Borne Disease Emotional Support meeting.

As of today, a childbirth class on Saturday has not been cancelled nor has a breastfeeding class on Monday. The instructors say “social distancing” will be practiced in the classes to help stop the spread of any respiratory illness.

Is the hospital prepared for one or more cases of novel coronavirus?  “We have been preparing for many weeks,” said Hoff. “We have identified the resources needed for us to accommodate and treat multiple COVID-19 patients.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Health website states that as of today, March 13th, there are 22 presumptive positive cases, including one in Pike County, and six confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, including one in Wayne County.