LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — UAMS announced it has extended its visitation policy as the number of COVID-19 cases have dropped.
"This is a big step in the right direction for us,” said Dr. Rawle Seupaul, UAMS Chief Clinical Officer.
One adult visitor is now allowed in with patients at UAMS' cancer institute clinic, outpatient and inpatient clinics, and procedural areas.
Each visitor will be screened just like all employees.
"They’ll be screened by booth via questionnaire and via temperature before they can head on campus,” said Seupaul.
While the hospital eases its way into the loosened-up restrictions, relief comes for many patients and their families.
"One day it just hit me when I had to drop her off and I couldn't go in,” said Shane Broadway, husband to patient.
Broadway’s wife Debbie is a UAMS patient battling MS.
For the last year, she's been alone receiving chemotherapy treatments.
"You want to be there with someone that you love when they are going through treatments, hold their hand, just be there to talk to them because it's tough on them,” said Broadway.
The Broadway family is grateful they can now be together again during some of life's most challenging times, but just like health care experts, Broadway refuses to let his guard down in sake of his wife and hopes others remain cautious too.
"Until she gets the shot, then life for us will not be normal even if the mask mandate goes away,” said Broadway.
Dr. Seupaul said though this is a sign we've made progress, we have a long way to go in Arkansas to beat COVID-19.
Right now, doctors are encouraging all eligible Arkansans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
"It will be up to Arkansans to take it upon themselves to get scheduled, to get vaccinated, so we can finally put this era behind us,” said Seupaul.
UAMS has not opened visitation to COVID-19 patients.