Is it time for hospitals to revisit their rules for visitors?

Revisiting hospital protocol

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As COVID-19 cases continue to increase across Alabama, the number of hospitalizations are going up as well. So, is it time for hospitals to revisit their rules for visitors?

From what we’ve been able to find out, most hospitals in the Birmingham area continue to allow at least one visitor for non-COVID patients. COVID-19 patients and those suspected of having the virus will remain isolated unless they are near the end of their lives in which one person may visit.

Starting Thursday, Regional Medical Center in Anniston and Stringfellow hospitals will be reinstating a strict no visitors policy because of an increased number of COVID cases in the past two weeks.

Dr. Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, says if COVID cases continue to rise then he expects more hospitals to ramp back their visitation policies and put more restrictions in place.

“Early on, we were worried about people getting infected in both directions. That’s really not what we’re worried about now. Now as COVID is very prevalent in our communities, we’re far more worried about people bringing COVID in from the community into the hospital rather than just somebody acquiring it and picking it up while in the hospital,” Dr. Williamson said.

UAB says its visitor policy has been strict since the beginning of the pandemic, but the hospital is looking into whether it needs to make changes. UAB’s entire policy can be found on their website by clicking here.

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