St. Francis, Other HSHS, Memorial Hospitals Apply One-Visitor Policy

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As COVID-19 cases spike throughout Illinois due to the delta variant, hospitals within the HSHS Illinois and Memorial Health System, including HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield, will only allow one visitor in most situations, with some exceptions.

The new policy began on Friday, Aug. 13 and was part of the hospitals’ ongoing efforts to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and protect patients and health care professionals. 

Family members and other support persons will be able to call each hospital for assistance in checking on patients and should give nursing staff their contact information.

In addition to St. Francis, St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, Holy Family Hospital in Greenville, Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland, Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln, Decatur Memorial Hospital, Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville and Taylorville Memorial Hospital are also affected by the policy change.

Included in the new guidelines are:

• Visitors under the age of 18 are prohibited at HSHS IL hospitals, unless they are the parent of a child receiving car. Memorial Health System prohibits visitors 16 and younger unless they are the parent of a child receiving care.

• For emergency departments, only one visitor is allowed and must stay in the patient’s room for the duration of the visit. No visitors are allowed in the emergency department for adult patients at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon.

• For inpatient adults, one visitor is allowed during the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. One overnight visitor is permitted at MHS hospitals.

• For patients at end-of-life, two visitors are allowed, but guests are to call the appropriate hospital for guidance in specific situations.

• Inpatient obstetrics and maternity patients are allowed two support persons, with one overnight visitor allowed at MHS hospitals.

• Two parents/guardians are allowed for pediatric patients, inpatient and outpatient.

• Patients undergoing a surgical procedure may have one visitor in the waiting area only for the duration of the surgical procedure.

• Patients being provided with outpatient services are encouraged to come alone whenever possible or have visitors wait outside until services are complete.

• Any patient with an intellectual and/or developmental disability or cognitive impairment is allowed one support person.

• No visitors are allowed for patients being treated or evaluated for COVID-19 until the COVID-19 infection is ruled out.

The two health systems will also continue the screening process for anyone entering their hospitals. People entering will have their temperature checked with a forehead scan thermometer and will answer a brief set of questions. Medical-grade masks are required in all health care settings.

Individuals will not be allowed to enter if their temperature is above 100.4 degrees, if they display symptoms of acute respiratory illness, including coughing, shortness of breath and sore throat, or if they refuse to wear a mask.

Family members and friends can call hospitals for assistance. The number for St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield is 217-324-2191 and the main lobby and emergency department entrances are currently open.

Both HSHS and MHS continue to encourage the unvaccinated to seek more information about the vaccines available to them. When ready they can visit www.HSHS.org/vaccine or call 1-844-216-4704 for an HSHS vaccine clinic near them, or visit Vaccination.mhsil.com.

If an HSHS or MHS vaccine clinic is not available in your area, contact your local health department for vaccine clinics and availability near you. Both systems also encourage you to continue masking and using social distancing strategies to slow the spread of the delta variant, a more contagious strain of COVID-19.

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