By Shereen Siewert

Marshfield Clinic Health Systems will prohibit visitors from entering hospitals and clinics starting March 24 amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19, according to a news release.

The new restrictions apply to visitation for hospitals and clinic appointments until further notice.

There are certain exceptions and situations where adult visitors may be allowed, including:

  • Pediatric (including NICU) patients: 1 visitor
    • You will be asked to designate one healthy adult who is able to provide support during a continuous 24-hour period.
  • OB patients: 1 visitor/support person
  • Patients where a caregiver is essential to their care (such as a patient with altered mental status, developmental delay or physical disability requiring assistance with medical care or activities of daily living)
  • Patients who have power of attorney or court-appointed guardians
  • Patients who have the potential for a sudden status change:
    • Examples may include surgery or trauma.
    • Visitors may be allowed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Patients who are at end of life
    • These patients and families will be supported on a case-by-case basis with the goal of creating an emotional support network, while keeping patients and visitors safe.

Note: Exceptions are made by hospital leaders with a goal of providing safe care for patients, while balancing emotional and other support needs. 

Visitor restriction guidelines:

  • All visitors should be free of illness or symptoms, and at least 18 years old.
  • Visitors should anticipate being screened for symptoms of illness.
  • Visitors should not remove any supplies or equipment from Marshfield Clinic Health System.
  • Visitors should limit the personal items they bring into the facility. This will reduce the number of unwanted germs that will go home with the visitor.
  • Visitors should plan to stay in the patient’s room for the duration of the visit. They should not be in communal spaces, like lobbies, the cafeteria or wandering in hallways.
  • Visitors must wash hands or use hand sanitizer every time they enter or exit a patient room or exam room.

“We understand and respect the importance of the relationships patients have with their loved ones. As such, we encourage you to stay connected virtually via Skype, FaceTime or phone,” the release states. “Thank you for your cooperation.”