Now that spring has arrived and COVID-19 infection rates remain relatively low in Illinois, Advocate Health Care is relaxing its visiting and masking protocols.
Starting Monday, all Advocate sites — which include Illinois Masonic Medical Center and Lutheran General Hospital — will no longer limit the number of patient visitors and no longer require face masks “under most circumstances,” it said. Friday the health system.
The visitation changes do not apply to pediatric and general pediatric intensive care facilities, which will continue to allow only two visitors at a time, the health system said.
Masking will continue to be mandatory for visitors of patients in “transmission-based isolation”, including COVID-19 positive patients.
“We realize and recognize how important it is for patients to have visitors and it certainly helps with their recovery in hospital and then after discharge from hospital,” Dr Robert Citronberg told reporters on Friday. , Infectious Disease Expert Advocate.
Citronberg described the masking policy change as a “very big step,” noting that masks have been needed since the start of the pandemic.
“Now, with declining rates of community transmission of COVID in all Illinois counties in which we serve patients, we are able to safely remove this masking requirement,” he said. “This is in line with (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines and other state and federal regulations as well.”
People who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus must still wait 10 days before visiting a patient, the health system said.
Northwestern Medicine and UChicago Medicine said Friday their COVID-19 protocols remain unchanged. These hospital systems require masks for most visitors and although visiting restrictions vary, in most cases no more than two visitors per patient are allowed at a time.