Michigan Medicine restricts visitors for adult patients as COVID-19 cases climb

ANN ARBOR – Michigan Medicine has updated its visitor policy with tightened restrictions in order to keep patients and staff safe as COVID-19 cases surge around the state.

As of Wednesday, no visitors will be permitted with adult patients in the health system’s hospitals, unless medically necessary.

Exceptions to the new restrictions include end-of-life care, labor and delivery and other scenarios which are listed here.

According to Michigan Medicine, the new policy change includes restrictions already announced:

  • No visitors are allowed with adult emergency department patients, except when medically necessary.
  • At C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, two visitors are allowed for pediatric patients. But family and other visitors are required to wear a mask (covering their mouth and nose) at all Michigan Medicine properties. This includes in a patient room and throughout the facility. Patients who can tolerate a mask must wear one when a health care worker is present in their room.
  • In clinics, no visitors will be allowed for adult patients unless the patient has a cognitive or physical impairment that requires assistance. One primary caregiver is allowed to accompany each pediatric patient to an appointment, unless an additional aide or assistant is required.

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“COVID-19 transmission rates continue to climb in the community,” Laraine Washer, Michigan Medicine’s medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology said in a statement. “Our top priority is the safety of our patients and staff, and to minimize the spread of disease, we need to take this additional step.

“We know this is difficult for our patients and their families and friends. But we need to continue to keep our Michigan Medicine facilities safe for all of our patients.”

Since the pandemic began in March, Michigan Medicine has been taking steps to keep staff and patients safe, including screening patients for symptoms, cleaning and disinfecting facilities, moving furniture to observe social distancing and following the latest guidelines to minimize infections.

“Limiting the risk of transmission of infection has always been a critical priority at Michigan Medicine,” Washer said in a statement. “And I want to reassure the public that if you need health care for a new problem or for continuing care of a chronic problem, you should not put it off.

“We have teams dedicated to keeping our patients and staff safe in our buildings. It is important to not delay emergency or chronic care.”

Washer urged people to avoid Thanksgiving gatherings this year with those outside your household.

“The best advice to limit risk is to continue to avoid gathering with people outside your household even if it is Thanksgiving,” she said in a statement. “If you are reporting to work, don’t have potlucks or share meals in close proximity with your co-workers: you can’t eat without taking off your mask, and that brief period of not wearing a mask could be enough to open the door to disease spread.

“We need everyone’s help with this. A large surge of patients requiring hospitalization for COVID has the potential to overwhelm health systems.”

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University of Michigan Health System, 2901 Hubbard Street Suite 2400, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2435 United States

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