MidMichigan Health in Midland has eased visitor restrictions as hospitalizations and cases of COVID-19 have been declining. Visiting hours for inpatient units are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Behavioral Health Units remain daily from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., and visitors of patients in Specialized Care Units are to check with the nurse’s station to determine appropriate visiting times. Patients who are not COVID positive can have two visitors at a time. Visitors must be 16 or older and screen negative for symptoms of respiratory infection. These symptoms include: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea. Masks are required throughout the duration of the visit.
“We recognize that an important aspect of care and healing is having a family member or support person with our patients whenever possible,” said Diane Postler-Slattery, Ph.D., FACHE, president and CEO, MidMichigan Health. “We have been carefully monitoring the number of state and local cases and are pleased to see a steady decline. However, the safety of our patients, visitors and employees is our priority. While we will ease our visitor restrictions, our protocols for health screening, universal masking and social distancing in our facilities will remain in place.”
Based on current available COVID-19 data, MidMichigan’s visitor policy has been updated to the following:
Doctor’s Offices, Outpatient and Surgical Departments
For patient support outside of the defined visiting guidelines, if the care team determines a visitor is essential to support the communication between the care team and a patient with developmental delay, significant cognitive or physical impairment and/or for the care of the patient, one visitor may be allowed. Additional consideration for a visitor will be given to patient circumstance around informed consent, hospice care or end of life decisions.
“Masking remains a critical tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19, especially for those who may be asymptomatic and not aware they carry the virus,” said Poster-Slattery. “That is why we implemented a universal masking policy. Patients, visitors and support persons on site at our facilities must wear a properly fitting mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times. This includes all persons who have also received the COVID-19 vaccine. For those unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, a face shield will be provided.”
MidMichigan offers several free electronic communication services that can help family and friends keep in touch while these visiting limitations are in effect:
As a service to the community, MidMichigan Health hosts a COVID-19 informational hotline with a reminder of CDC guidelines and recommendations. Staff is also available to help answer community questions Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hotline can be reached toll-free at (800) 445-7356 or (989) 794-7600. In addition, inquiries can be sent to MidMichigan Health via Facebook messenger at www.facebook.com/midmichigan. More information can also be found at www.midmichigan.org/covid19.
Saginaw-based Covenant HealthCare also relaxed visitor restrictions last week, allowing one healthy visitor per patient. Pediatric patients are allowed two healthy parents or guardians. Covenant also requires visitors to wear a mask or face covering.