OWOSSO — As COVID-19 cases surge across Michigan and in Shiawassee County, Memorial Healthcare Monday instituted new visitor restrictions and safety precautions.
“The virus is spreading in our community at the highest rate the hospital has seen so far, and it threatens to strain Memorial’s health care system,” Memorial officials said in a press release.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, There are 272,034 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan, including 1,378 in Shiawassee County, along with 34 deaths in the county.
MDHHS also says Memorial Healthcare has 18 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, including three in the ICU.
Memorial reported bed occupancy (for all patients) at 49 percent. Other area hospitals, including Ascension Genesys (90 percent), McLaren Flint (97), McLaren Greager Lansing (97), Sparrow (81), and Covenant Healthcare (83) were much higher.
Memorial officials said they are seeing an escalation in the positivity rate in the county. While testing capacity has increased, the percentage of positive test results is also on the rise.
The increase in local COVID-19 cases should not be underestimated, officials said.
Due to the heightened risk of infection in the region, Memorial Healthcare has implemented changes to its visitor policy and testing procedures. The precautions are aimed at helping to minimize the risk of infection among Memorial’s patients, staff and the community.
The following limitations have been implemented.
One healthy caregiver/support person (17 and older) will be permitted for:
n Minor children requiring medical care.
n Family birth place (OB) (This must be the same person throughout the patient’s stay).
n Pediatric (Same person throughout the patient’s stay.)
n Surgical (individual must remain in the surgical waiting room or in their vehicle at all times).
n Testing requiring sedation: This individual must remain in the waiting room or in their vehicle at all times.
n Face coverings are mandatory for all caregivers and support individuals and successfully complete a health screening.
n There is no visitor access to the long-term care unit and The Meadows Assisted Living.
Nursing staff and attending physicians will work with families who have special circumstances, such as a critically ill or injured family member on a case-by-case basis.
Patients are encouraged to use the hospital’s free Wi-Fi to communicate with family members and friends through a mobile device, tablet or laptop. Depending on the patient’s unit, additional guidelines and restrictions may apply.
The complete visitor policy can be reviewed at memorialhealthcare.org.
In addition to the visitor policy, Memorial announced new testing procedures.
Due to increased demand, appointments are now required for Memorial’s drive-thru COVID-19 nasal-swab PCR testing location. Daily appointments are limited to ensure a smooth testing process for patients and staff. In order to schedule an appointment, call (989) 729-6422.
Memorial Healthcare has introduced a guest services division to better coordinate patient and family needs. The guest services department can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (989) 720-2273.
Hospital officials also continue to remind people to take precautions, including wearing a face covering, cleaning hands regularly with soap and water, avoiding groups of people when possible, maintaining a 6-foot distance from others, avoiding indoor gatherings with more than one household, and staying home if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or otherwise not feeling well.