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Cleveland Clinic updates visitation policies as surge of COVID patients fills beds

Cleveland Clinic Independence location
Posted at 10:13 AM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 10:13:10-05

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Clinic is updating its visitation guidelines for all Ohio locations as the hospital system manages a high number of patients due to a surge in unvaccinated COVID-19 patients.

Beginning Tuesday, only one visitor per day will be allowed for patients in the emergency department, and for all inpatients, according to a news release from Cleveland Clinic. Visitors for inpatients can be different each day; previously, patients designated one person to visit them throughout their entire stay.

Visitors to inpatients can only enter the building once per day; visitors cannot leave the building and return for a separate visit later that day, the clinic said. A different visitor can only replace them the following day.

Visitors who have tested positive for COVID-19 are permitted to visit a patient if it has been at least 10 days since testing positive, the release states.

If a visitor has been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and is not fully vaccinated, they can visit a patient 14 days after exposure. If they are vaccinated and asymptomatic, they can visit a patient with proof of vaccination.

COVID-positive pediatric patients may have one parent or guardian visit; COVID-negative pediatric patients may have two parents or guardians visit.

Visitation hours remain 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., the clinic said. Visitors must be 18 years old, wear a mask at all times, pass a COVID-19 health screening and sanitize their hands on arrival.

A patient’s care team may make compassionate exceptions to these guidelines, when appropriate, the clinic said.

Cleveland Clinic, along with University Hospitals and MetroHealth, released a statement on Friday to announce that due to a surge in COVID-19 patients, all three hospital systems were nearing full capacity and were temporarily postponing non-urgent surgeries at some locations.