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Houston Methodist adjusts visitor policy as COVID cases continue to rise in the community

The hospital announced the changes on Friday, and they will take effect Monday, July 26.

HOUSTON — Houston Methodist is adjusting their visitor policy as COVID cases continue to rise in the area.

The hospital announced the changes on Friday, and they will take effect Monday, July 26.

Hospital officials are encouraging people only bring vaccinated visitors to their facilities at this time.

Here is full breakdown of their policy:

Hospitalized patients, procedures, treatments and doctor appointments

Visitation is limited to one healthy visitor per day in medical surgical units, procedural areas. Hospitalized patients will be allowed one healthy visitor who is 18 years or older to stay overnight.

Intensive care unit (ICU) visitation is limited to one healthy visitor per day. We encourage you to use electronic communication, such as a smartphone or video chat whenever possible. For overnight visitors 18 years or older, patients should refer to their unit’s policy.

Labor and delivery patients are allowed two healthy visitors. One healthy visitor 18 years or older may stay overnight. For the Neonatal ICU, both parents at a time will be allowed to visit.

On the day of surgery (either incoming for surgery or already hospitalized), one healthy visitor is allowed to stay in the waiting room during surgery, then accompany the patient back to the unit.

COVID vaccination

Patients may bring one healthy visitor when they are receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Emergency department

No visitors are allowed in the emergency department waiting rooms. One healthy visitor may be allowed once a patient is in an exam room. An exception will be made in compassionate cases. Patients who have tested positive or are under evaluation for COVID-19 will not be permitted visitors.

COVID hospitalized patients in isolation

No visitors are allowed, even with proof of vaccination. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis by unit management.

Applicability and exceptions

All visitors must comply with all PPE requirements, and agree to participate in entry-point screening.

Special consideration will be made for disabled patients who may need more than one visitor to provide support and knowledge about their care. Decisions regarding visitors of disabled individuals will be made collaboratively with nursing leadership.

Visitor policies will vary for long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs).

If you feel an exception is needed, please speak to management.

Patients’ clergy may visit without being “counted” against the patients’ visitor limit. As with all visitors, visiting clergy must check in with screeners, wear a mask, submit to a temperature check, and state whom they plan to visit.

Everyone must wear a mask at all times while in Houston Methodist facilities. Hospitals and private businesses can require masks according to state law.

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RELATED: Memorial Hermann modifies visitor policy as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Greater Houston area