Mercy Expands Visitor Restrictions in Arkansas

March 15, 2020

While national attention around COVID-19 continues to accelerate, the healing ministry of Mercy remains focused on the safety and health of our patients and co-workers. Mercy leaders are working around the clock to keep our community safe.

Out of an abundance of caution, our next critical step in safeguarding our patients and co-workers is to begin enforcing restricted visitor access. In addition, anyone entering any Mercy hospital or clinic must wear a mask or face covering at all times.

No visitors will be allowed in the hospital and clinics with the exception of the following:

  • Visitors age 18 or older for patients receiving end-of-life care at the discretion of the physician.
  • One support person age 18 or older per OB patient.
  • One parent per pediatric patient at a time.
  • One parent per NICU patient at a time.
  • One visitor age 18 or older for patients undergoing urgent procedures or their driver.
  • One visitor per emergency room patient deemed to be in critical condition by the ER physician and those who use a wheelchair and require assistance. Minors will be allowed one parent. All others will be asked to remain in their vehicle.
  • Clinic patients who have a physician inside the hospital and those who use a wheelchair and require assistance will be allowed a visitor or drive. All others will be asked to remain in their vehicle.
    The restrictions include:
  • Mercy Hospital and ER Fort Smith
  • Mercy Hospital River Valley Orthopedic in Fort Smith
  • Mercy Hospital Booneville
  • Mercy Hospital Paris
  • Mercy Hospital Ozark
  • Mercy Hospital Waldron

New restrictions for patients and visitors will be in place at the hospital entrances.

Entrances are limited:

  • Mercy Hospital Fort Smith’s ER entrance is open 24/7. The Labor & Delivery, OB emergency room and pediatrics entrance is open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and will is accessible by intercom after hours. The main medical building entrance will only be open from 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for patients who have scheduled appointments.
  • Mercy Hospitals in Booneville, Paris, Ozark and Waldron and Mercy Hospital River Valley Orthopedics is only accessible through the ER entrance.
  • The main entrance into Mercy Hospital Rogers will be the only entrance for visitors. The emergency entrance is open 24/7 for patients needing emergency care. The main Physicians Plaza entrance will be open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. for patients who have scheduled appointments.
  • Mercy Hospital Berryville is accessible only through the ER entrance.

Additional information:

Patients and visitors will continue to be screened upon entering the hospital.

Those who are unable to visit a Mercy patient are encouraged to use a patient email online form.

Mercy Fitness Center in Fort Smith has reopened with restrictions. 

Mercy Fort Smith's Release of Information Office is closed to walk-ins. In order to receive medical records, an authorization form must be filled out and placed in the drop box; emailed to; faxed to 479-452-0360; or mailed to Health Information Management Department, Mercy Fort Smith, 7301 Rogers Ave., Fort Smith, AR 72903. Authorization forms can be found here.

“The safety of our patients, visitors and co-workers is of the utmost importance,” said Ryan Gehrig and Eric Pianalto, presidents of Mercy Hospital Fort Smith and Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas, respectively. “We realize this new policy may create an inconvenience for our visitors, but we must prevent unnecessary exposure to our patients and caregivers.”

Media Contacts

Jennifer Cook

Northwest AR, Berryville
Phone: 479-338-2927


Mardi Taylor

Fort Smith
Phone: 479-314-6613