Michigan Medicine sets visitor restrictions amid COVID-19 surge

The Detroit News
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Michigan Medicine is restricting visitors at its locations to minimize the spread of COVID-19 as cases and hospitalizations rise across the state, the hospital system announced Thursday.

Beginning Friday, Michigan Medicine, which includes the UM Medical School and the university's health care system, is not allowing visitors for adult patients unless medically necessary, officials said in a statement.

University of Michigan Medicine Hospital in Ann Arbor, Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

“At Michigan Medicine, we’ve seen our COVID-19 hospitalizations rise, doubling in the last few weeks to 68 patients today. COVID-19 transmission rates continue to climb,” said Dr. Jeffrey Desmond, chief medical officer.

“We have also seen rising rates of COVID-19 in the surrounding communities and rising rates of positive tests. The safety of our patients and staff is our top priority, along with doing what we can to minimize the spread of disease. Restricting visitors is not something we do lightly because we know this is difficult for our patients and their families and friends."

Two parents/caregivers are permitted for inpatient hospitalized pediatric patients under 21. In clinics and outpatient care, one primary caregiver is allowed for pediatric patients unless an additional aide or assistant is required.

In ambulatory care clinics, no visitors are allowed for adult patients unless the patient has a cognitive or physical impairment that requires assistance, according to the release.

There is no change to the visitor policy for outpatient surgery and procedural areas.

More details are available on the Michigan Medicine website.

The updates came the same day the state added 6,036 new virus cases and 49 deaths.

The latest figures bring the state's totals to 678,295 cases and deaths to 16,141 since the virus was first detected in March 2020, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Michigan has jumped from having the sixth highest number of cases in the nation to the highest. Deaths have increased 24% since March 9. The state also has the 15th highest death rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control's COVID data tracker.

The rise has pushed other Metro Detroit hospital systems to restrict visitors.

This week, Henry Ford Health System reinstated restrictions at Henry Ford Hospital, Henry Ford Macomb Hospital and Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, officials said.

“We are truly at an inflection point today,” said Dr. Adnan Munkarah, Henry Ford's chief clinical officer, at a news briefing Monday. “The progress we have been making with vaccinations gives us a lot of hope that the end of the pandemic is within reach. At the same time, the numbers we are seeing at the national level but specifically in Michigan are definitely worrisome.”

Last week, Beaumont Health System also reinstated visitor restrictions. And on Wednesday, the system said it is requiring visitors vaccinated against COVID-19 to show proof before they can see loved ones being treated at its hospitals.

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