Sparrow Health to limit visitor access amid fourth COVID-19 surge

Hani Barghouthi
The Detroit News

Sparrow Health System became the second major hospital network in the state to put new limitations on its visitor policies amid a record-breaking surge in COVID-19 infections. 

Effective Tuesday morning, only one visitor will be allowed per patient each day, said John Foren, Sparrow's director of communications, a reduction designed to help limit the spread of the virus.

Patients were allowed two visitors each prior to the announcement, which comes as the hospital system experiences a record high number of COVID-19 patients and caregivers, said Foren. 

"Although the increase in COVID positive patients and caregivers may warrant tighter restrictions, Sparrow believes visitation is an important part of the healing/caring process," he added. 

No change in policy was made for patients in pediatrics and women's services units, who can have two visitors designated throughout their stay, or for patients in the Emergency Department, who may have one visitor once they are in a room, Foren said. 

Comfort care and end-of-life patient visitation will be addressed on a case-by-case basis, he added. 

Sparrow's announcement follows restrictive measures implemented by Beaumont Health at the beginning of the year in response to the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus that is driving the fourth, current surge in infections. 

Michigan's top health officials have referred to COVID-19 in the state as "critical." The state set a new record Friday for the highest daily average of new infections, with 40,692 cases recorded over two days.