St. Charles will no longer allow hospitalized COVID-19 patients to have visitors “under most circumstances,” according to a press release sent by Public Information Officer Lisa Goodman on Thursday.
There are some exceptions to the new rule, including if the patient is about to pass away or if the patient has a disability and needs assistance, Goodman said.
The policy change was made to protect St. Charles patients and caregivers and because the number of COVID-19 cases in the community continues to be a high number, according to Goodman.
Door screeners and guest services teams will now tell any visitors who are trying to visit a COVID-19 patient that they are not allowed to visit. St. Charles is asking COVID-19 patients to use iPads to communicate with family members.
“This was a tough decision, but a necessary one to ensure the safety of our patients and caregivers,” Dr. Jeff Absalon, the health system’s chief physician executive, said. “The risk of exposure continues to be high, so we must do everything we can to prevent further spread of the virus.”
As of Thursday morning, St. Charles has 27 COVID-19 patients. Six of those patients are in the ICU and five are on a ventilator.