Three Beaumont hospitals reinstate visitor restrictions as COVID-19 cases rise

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Beaumont hospitals in Royal Oak, Troy and Grosse Pointe are limiting the visitation starting Tuesday as COVID-19 cases rise in Michigan.

The restrictions will take effect at 8 a.m. to protect patients and staff, officials said.

“Community positivity rates have jumped to 8-11% in the area," said Dr. Nick Gilpin, medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology for Beaumont Health, in a Monday statement.  

"Last spring, we took care of the most COVID-19 patients in the state and we know that taking difficult steps like restricting visitors will help us keep our patients and our staff safe," he said.

Exterior of Beaumont hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan on March 31, 2020.

Medical leadership at each Beaumont hospital will determine when to implement further visitor restrictions. 

Among the restrictions, no one will be allowed in the rooms of patients with pending or positive COVID-19 tests except for patients who are approaching the end-of-life, patients under 21 years of age, women in labor or other extreme circumstances where the benefits of presence outweigh the risk of COVID-19 exposure. All exceptions must be approved by clinical leaders.

For patients who do not have COVID-19, one family/friend may be present in the following situations:

  • A person who is in serious or critical condition or in hospice care.
  • An individual is near death. Additional family may take turns at their loved one’s bedside. Two people are permitted at the bedside.
  • Adults with a cognitive, physical or mental disability requiring help with the provision of medical care or activities of daily living, speaking for the patient and keeping the patient safe.
  • A person undergoing a surgical procedure.
  • When required for support and arrangements are made in advance, person having an outpatient test or procedure.
  • The person is receiving care in the Emergency Center.
  • An individual who must exercise power of attorney or court-appointed guardianship for a patient.
  • A mother in labor or with pregnancy complications. A doula or trained companion is allowed in addition to the designated partner.
  • Children or young adults who are 21 years of age or under. Two parents are permitted.

Exceptions only apply if a family member or friend screens negative for symptoms of respiratory infection. Any visitation request that differs from these guidelines will be reviewed by clinical leaders. Anyone under the age of 16 is restricted from visiting, except under extreme circumstances.

After a visit is complete, everyone must leave the hospital and cannot remain in waiting areas, public areas or cafeterias, according to Beaumont.

Michigan added 9,010 COVID-19 cases and 62 deaths Monday, including Sunday's cases, for an average of 4,505 cases per day.

The additions bring the state's total number of confirmed cases to 216,804 and total confirmed deaths to 7,640, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

On Saturday, Michigan surpassed 200,000 cases and 7,500 deaths and broke the daily case record with 6,225 confirmed cases and 65 deaths.

Michigan’s daily record for deaths was reached on April 16 with 164. Deaths stayed near single digits from July through September but spiked again with 10-18 per day in early October. Deaths rose on Oct. 23 with 34, 43 on Nov. 3, 51 on Thursday and 65 Saturday.

As of Sunday, Beaumont is treating 30 COVID-19 patients at its Farmington hospital, 22 in Grosse Pointe and 100 in Royal Oak.

Susan Grant, Beaumont Health chief nursing office, said while families are a critical part of the healing process, the decision to restrict visitors was made after through conversations.

"We have plenty of personal protective equipment, frequently clean our facilities, require daily health screening for all staff and routinely perform COVID-19 testing for our patients to keep our hospitals safe," Grant said.  "It’s troubling to see the virus on the rise again in our community. Please wear a mask when you are in public and take all of the CDC’s recommended precautions to help us stop the spread of the virus until a vaccine is available."