COVID restrictions

Palmdale Regional Medical Center has begun restricting visitors from accompanying patients in the emergency department, one of several restrictions starting as COVID-19 cases skyrocket.

PALMDALE — The surging number of COVID-19 cases is bringing about some restrictions that are familiar from the earlier phases of the pandemic.

The increased number of patients at Palmdale Regional Medical Center has led to changes to its visitation policies for the emergency department, effective Jan. 4.

To help ease congestion in the waiting area, adult patients may not have anyone accompany them into the emergency department, medical center officials announced.

Exceptions are for pediatric or disabled patients, who may have one person accompany them.

Visitation rules for patients admitted to the hospital remain the same as instituted in August, in that all visitors must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test, if unvaccinated.

The medical center does not publicly share the number of COVID-19 patients it sees.

Antelope Valley Hospital has not changed its visitation or emergency department policies, as of Wednesday, although it has seen the number of COVID-19 patients admitted jump in recent days.

According to Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris, number of COVID-19 patients admitted to AV Hospital has more than doubled.

As of Jan. 3, AV Hospital had 49 patients admitted for COVID-19, of whom 10 were vaccinated. The hospital has three patients — all unvaccinated — on respirators and four patients, also unvaccinated, in the intensive care unit.

The City of Palmdale has also responded to the increasing COVID-19 case numbers by closing City Hall to walk-in traffic, as of Wednesday. Appointments to see staff are available for the following departments: Public Works, Building and Safety, Business Licenses, Planning, Purchasing, Neighborhood Services, Parks and Recreation, City Clerk, Human Resources, Administrative Services and Community Programs.

Call 661-267-5100 or email to schedule an appointment.

South Antelope Valley Emergency Services will continue with its food distribution program during the indefinite closure at City Hall, but will not accept community volunteers or court referrals.

Food will be available today, from 1 to 4 p.m., then starting next week on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the same times. Recipients must be in line by 3:30 p.m. to receive food.

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