By Bria Brown

(WNEM) – COVID-19 cases are surging in Michigan, forcing Covenant HealthCare to suspend routine visitations again.

“The next couple of months are going to be really difficult,” said Michael Sullivan, the hospital’s Chief Medical Officer, “At this point we have to look at the health of all of our patients, all of our visitors, all of our staff.”

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He says these visitor restrictions, which only allow one healthy visitor, with some exceptions, is enacted to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“Now any of these exceptions, all of these patients have to be healthy. They go through a screening process at the door. We ask certain questions for symptoms, for temperatures.”

Sullivan says there’s an upward trend of hospitalizations, which could put a demand on the hospital’s resources and staff.

“As we see more COVID patients here at the hospital, it hinders our ability to then treat patients who need care for other things.”

He believes the second wave that was suspected in the spring is finally here.

“The patients that we are seeing in the hospital still are in the elderly age brackets. We saw the same thing in the spring.”

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But Sullivan suggests that tracking COVID-19 cases isn’t all about doom and gloom.

“The one thing we haven’t been seeing is an increase in a mortality rate. But that doesn’t mean we get to be cavalier about this.”

Exceptions to visitor restrictions include:

  • Obstetric patients may have one birth support person accompany them.
  • Pediatric patients may have both parents/guardians accompany them, however, only one may spend the night.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): Both parents/guardians may accompany the patient, however, only one parent/guardian will be allowed in the NICU at a time with only one rotation per day.
  • Critical Care: Patients in the critical care units may have one visitor who must remain in the room during the visit.
  • Patients who are at the end-of-life may have a very limited number of visitors who must remain in the room during the visit.
  • Patients with disruptive behavior, where a family member is key to their care, may have one visitor who must remain in the room during the visit.
  • Patients who have altered mental status or developmental delays (where caregiver provides safety) may have one visitor who must stay in the room during the visit.
  • Patients requiring a home caregiver to be trained must stay in the room during the visit.
  • Adult patients undergoing surgery, or a procedure may have one visitor who must leave the medical center as soon as possible once the procedure/surgery begins. Contact information will be obtained from the support person and that person will be contacted to return to their loved one as recovery begins. Pediatric surgical patients may have two parents/guardians.
  • Patients who have an appointment at Covenant HealthCare’s hospital-based clinics, laboratories, radiology departments or are visiting the Emergency Care Center may have one support person if the patient has specific assistance requirements.
  • No visitors will be allowed in rooms of patients with pending or positive COVID-19 tests unless their support is medically necessary.
  • No other visitors will be allowed in the medical center at this time.

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