As the number of COVID-19 inpatients decreases and the state lifts mitigation efforts in central Illinois, Memorial Health System is easing some visitor restrictions at its five hospitals on Jan. 20.
Those hospitals – Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln, Decatur Memorial Hospital, Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville and Taylorville Memorial Hospital – will allow one visitor at a time for adult inpatients between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
The hospitals will allow one support person and one additional visitor for inpatient obstetrics patients. Those two people must be the same for the duration of the stay.
No visitors will be allowed for patients being treated for COVID-19, or patients being evaluated for the virus until a COVID-19 infection is ruled out.
All visitors must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth at all times while in the hospitals.
A total of 68 COVID-19 patients were in Memorial Health System’s hospitals as of Jan. 15. That represents a decrease from a high of 173 patients back on Nov. 30, 2020.
Other visitor guidelines remain in place. They are:
Emergency Department: One visitor who must remain in the patient’s room for the duration of the visit.
Inpatient at end-of-life: Two visitors.
Pediatrics, inpatient and outpatient: Two parents or guardians.
Surgery or procedure, inpatient and outpatient: One visitor in the waiting room only for the duration of the surgery or procedure.
Passavant Area Hospital’s transitional care unit: Visitation is restricted to essential individuals according to Illinois Department of Public Health regulations.
Outpatient services: Patients receiving outpatient services are encouraged to come alone when possible or have visitors wait outside until their services are complete.
For ambulatory medical services (Memorial Physician Services, Memorial ExpressCare and DMH Medical Group), Members of the same household may accompany a patient with an appointment. One non-household support person may accompany a patient with an appointment.
Patients with intellectual or developmental disabilities or cognitive impairments: One support person.
“We understand that these visitor restriction have been challenging for patients and their families, but our first priority has been to keep our patients and our frontline healthcare workers safe from this virus,” Dr. Raj Govindaiah, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Memorial Health System, said.
“As our numbers for positive test results for COVID-19 go down and as we are seeing fewer patients in our hospitals, we are able to ease our visitor restrictions,” he said. “However, it’s vital that we all remain vigilant by wearing our masks, watching our distance, washing our hands and avoiding large gatherings.”
Memorial Health System’s hospitals also provide patients with devices for video calls when in-person visitation is not possible.