As COVID cases decrease, hospital relaxes visitor restrictions

As COVID cases decrease, hospital relaxes visitor restrictions

This week SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Mexico began opening its doors, carefully, to visitors. The decision was made due to a decrease in community transmission of the COVID-19 virus and the policy went into effect on Monday.

The new visitor policy allows all non-COVID positive patients to have one support person at a time, over the age of 16, during designated hours.

Exceptions may be made for end-of-life situations.

“We feel comfortable relaxing the visitor policies at this point,” said Mike Baumgartner, regional president of SSM Health in mid-Missouri. “We want to thank the community for their efforts to adhere to the safety guidance and we encourage everyone to stay the course through these next several months.”

The hospital had placed strict limits on visitation as COVID-19 cases in Audrain County increased. According to the new rules, guests must enter through the Emergency Room Entrance between 8 am and 8 pm and adhere to several guidelines.

Support people must undergo a screening and temperature check before entering the building. They must also wear a protective mask. The hospital asks that guests follow social distancing, as well.

Visitors are allowed only in the patient’s room or specific waiting areas.

SSM Health continues to monitor the rate of community transmission and will make adjustments to these guidelines as needed.

There were 122 active cases out of 1,582 positive results with 43 deaths as of Monday, Jan. 11, according to the Audrain County Health Department. Of those active cases, 91 are in Mexico and 14 in Vandalia.

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