December 8, 2021, Morris, IL – In response to the significant increase in COVID hospitalizations and cases in the community, Morris Hospital is making a change to its visitor guidelines effective December 9. Under the new guidelines, hospitalized patients will be limited to 1 visitor at a time, age 18 or older. The updated guidelines also apply to patients in the Family Birthing Suites.
As has been policy since the start of the pandemic, hospitalized patients who have COVID-19 are not permitted to have visitors. Special arrangements may be requested for COVID patients who are 17 or younger; at end of life; or intellectually and/or developmentally disabled or diagnosed with an impairment that affects understanding, judgment, or decision-making.
At this time, patients coming for an emergency, outpatient or office visit at any Morris Hospital facility may continue to be accompanied by one support person age 18 or older if needed. This includes patients coming to the emergency department, those having an outpatient procedure, test, surgery or therapy session, immediate care and convenient care visits, and physician office visits.
“Family members have such an important role for hospitalized patients,” explains Kimberly Landers, Vice President of Patient Care and Chief Nurse Executive at Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers. “Yet with COVID numbers back at a concerning level, it’s necessary that we limit the number of people in our patient care areas in order to maintain a safe environment for our patients, staff and community. We ask families to coordinate their schedules before visiting so that there is only one visitor at the hospital at a time for each patient.”
Visitors will be issued a badge when they enter the hospital. If the visitor badge for a patient is already checked out and another visitor arrives for the same patient, the second visitor will be asked to return at another time. Visiting hours for the medical/surgical units and Family Birthing Suites are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Visiting hours for the Intensive Care Unit are 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
Per CDC guidelines for healthcare settings, Morris Hospital continues to require masks covering the nose and mouth at all times for everyone entering the hospital or a Morris Hospital facility. When entering a Morris Hospital facility, visitors will have their temperature checked, answer questions about any current symptoms, and apply hand sanitizer. Anyone who screens positive or refuses to comply will be unable to visit.
Visitors are always encouraged to review the visiting guidelines on the hospital website before coming to the hospital to visit a patient.
“We continue to be faced with extraordinary times,” adds Landers. “We ask for everyone’s cooperation and understanding as our staff continues to work diligently to provide care for our patients and community.”