Beaumont reinstates visitor restrictions amid growing COVID-19 cases

Ariana Taylor
The Detroit News

As cases of COVID-19 increase in Michigan, Beaumont Health System has reinstated visitor restrictions, limiting who can see patients starting Thursday.

The restrictions come just over a month after Beaumont loosened some visitor limitations in February. The health system is following previous constraints by not allowing visitors for patients, regardless if they have COVID-19, except in extreme circumstances. 

"We have noticed an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases in metro Detroit over the past few weeks,” said Dr. Nick Gilpin, medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology for Beaumont Health in a news release. "Community positivity rates have jumped, and we are seeing more and more COVID-19 variants, too.

"While we are happy that the vaccine is becoming more widely available, we know that taking difficult steps, like restricting visitation, is still necessary to help us keep our patients and our staff safe."

On Tuesday, the state added 3,579 new COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths from the virus.  Last week, the state recorded 17,374 cases and 123 deaths from the virus, an increase of nearly 6,000 cases from the week prior when the state recorded 11,383 cases and 109 deaths from the virus.

Effective at 8 a.m. Thursday, no one will be allowed in rooms of patients with pending or positive COVID-19 tests unless those patients are nearing the end of their life, younger than 21, women in labor or other extreme circumstances at all Beaumont campuses. 

For patients who do not have COVID-19, one visitor may be allowed in situations such as: 

  • Patients in serious or critical condition
  • Patients being evaluated for hospice care or near the end-of-life. Additional family may take turns at the patient’s bedside with two people permitted at the bedside.
  • Adults with disabilities who need help with communicating or managing anxiety and people undergoing a surgical procedure.
  • Those having an outpatient test or procedure.
  • Woman in labor or with pregnancy complications. A doula in addition to the designated partner is permitted.
  • Children 21 or younger, with two parents being permitted.

Masks are still required in the hospitals regardless of people's vaccination status. Exceptions apply only if a family member or friend screens negative for symptoms of respiratory infection, Beaumont said. Anyone younger than 16 is restricted from visiting, except under extreme circumstances, and visitors cannot remain in waiting and public areas or cafeterias.

The restrictions will be in place until further notice, Beaumont said. The health system will also release additional information and visitation guidelines for people who have been fully vaccinated in April.

“We decided to restrict visitors after thoughtful conversations with our physicians, nurses and staff. We know that families are critical to the healing process,” Beaumont Health Chief Nursing Officer Susan Grant, RN, said. “It’s troubling to see COVID-19 numbers climbing again just as more vaccine is finally starting to become available.  Please wear a mask when you are in public and help us stop the spread of the virus.”