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UW Health, Meriter ease some COVID-19 restrictions

(WBAY)
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 11:09 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Two Madison-based health systems jointly announced they plan to relax their visitor policies, citing a decline in community transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Under the new restrictions, adult patients at UW Health and UnityPoint-Meriter will be allowed to have two people with them for support.

Two people can accompany individuals 16 years and older when they come to emergency rooms at UW-Health, but Meriter is sticking with its policy of only allowing one. Younger patients in the pediatric clinics can now be joined by their siblings for ambulatory appointments.

“We know these restrictions have been hard on loved ones, so we appreciate our patients’ and visitors’ understanding as we work to reduce the risk of transmission in these places of healing,” Meriter President and CEO Sue Erickson said, adding that the hospital wants to make sure all patients have the emotional support they need.

(NBC15)

The health systems noted that the restrictions and the recent changes are under constant review to determine if they should be increased or tightened. New COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin have dropped dramatically since the beginning of the year when the Omicron variant was sending counts to record highs. However, after reaching lows dramatically lower than that time, going from over 10,000 cases per day to just over 300 per day, the seven-day rolling average for new cases has doubled and Dane Co. health officials pointed out Monday that a second Omicron variant is sweeping the state.

Not all restrictions are going away, however. The health systems also listed ones that will remain in place. Those include:

  • All visitors must go through registration and COVID-19 screening
  • They need a visitor pass
  • They are required to wear a medical grade face covering.

“We still have many processes in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but we hope patients feel the added support of more loved ones visiting and accompanying them to appointments,” UW Health Chief Quality Officer Jeffery Pothof said.

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