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Visitors welcome! Memorial Hermann will allow visitors as COVID-19 numbers drop

Memorial Hermann's CEO said hospitalizations are down after a surge from the holidays. He also said vaccinations could be expanded to more people soon.

HOUSTON — Starting Thursday, Memorial Hermann Health System is opening back up to visitors.

Each patient will be allowed one adult visitor per day. Pediatric and Women’s Services will allow two visitors per day.

The change is a sign COVID-19 numbers are moving in the right direction in the Houston area.

“We’re now seeing a pretty sharp decrease in terms of patients presenting to our ERs with COVID. Our inpatient hospitalizations are down significantly from where they were about a month ago,” said Dr. David Callender, CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System.

Daily new cases, hospitalizations and the positivity rate are down across the Texas Medical Center.

Callender attributes the trend to three things. First, he thinks people are doing their part to stop spreading the virus by wearing masks and social distancing. He says that needs to continue even though numbers are down.

“Number 2, we’ve had a significant portion of the community that’s been infected, so there’s some natural immunity that’s out there. (No. 3) We now have immunized with at least one dose about 10% of the population,” he said.

Callender said more mass vaccination events are in the works. For people who can’t drive to hubs or can’t register for appointments online, the hospital is launching smaller mobile clinics soon.

“We’re looking forward perhaps as soon as the next few weeks to expand the criteria, with the approval of the state, being able to vaccinate more people. Particularly people who are outside that 65 and older age range,” Callender said.

Because there are still a lot of people in group 1B waiting for vaccines, he said Memorial Hermann will focus on younger people with chronic health issues next.

Read more about Memorial Hermann’s updated visitor policy.

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