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Lexington Medical updates emergency department COVID protocol

The changes follow several others put in place just weeks earlier.

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — Lexington Medical Center is making another round of changes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 within its walls.

The new rules apply specifically to the emergency department, visitors, and visiting hours. "Effective immediately," visitors won't be allowed in the emergency department lobby, the hospital said.

"Once patients receive an Emergency department room assignment, one visitor is allowed for non-COVID-19 patients," the hospital said in a statement on Wednesday.

However, parents or guardians are allowed to accompany patients under the age of 18 in the lobby.

RELATED: LexMed closes surgery center, shifts resources to care for COVID-patients

Meanwhile, visitors will have to stay in patients' exam rooms at all times. They can also help a patient get settled into their inpatient room if admitted.

As the hospital continues to make adjustments to handle the increase in COVID cases throughout the state, leaders there also urging the community to get vaccinated against the virus.

"Lexington Medical Center's vaccine clinic is open seven days a week," the hospital statement continued. "Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred.

So far, the hospital has administered nearly 100,000 COVID vaccines.