Advocate Aurora loosening its visitor policy as COVID-19 cases decrease

Posted at 5:28 PM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 06:18:14-05

MILWAUKEE — As COVID-19 numbers appear to be on a downward trend, some places are looking to ease some restrictions. One area hospital is loosening its visitor policy.

COVID-19 tests
A nurse at a drive up COVID-19 coronavirus testing station set up by the University of Washington Medical Center uses a swab to take a sample from the nose of a person in their car, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Seattle. UW Medicine is conducting drive-thru testing in a hospital parking garage and has screened hundreds of staff members, faculty and trainees for the COVID-19 coronavirus. U.S. hospitals are setting up triage tents, calling doctors out of retirement, guarding their supplies of face masks and making plans to cancel elective surgery as they brace for an expected onslaught of coronavirus patients. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

On Monday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 543 new cases of COVID-19. That put the seven-day average of percent positive cases at 4.2 percent.

“We have been on a pretty steady decline as far as hospitalizations and case counts, death always lag a little bit behind those,” said Dr. Matt Anderson, senior medical director of primary care at UW Health.

Advocate Aurora Health announced on its website and Facebook page that it was loosening visitor policy.

There used to be no visitors except in specific exceptions. Now hospitalized patients can have up to two visitors, but one in the room at a time.

Froedtert Hospital currently allows one visitor for the duration of the patient’s stay and says they do not anticipate any changes to the policy. UW Health currently operates under a no visitor policy and also doesn’t anticipate a change.

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However, UW Health says what they want to see is more people vaccinated in Wisconsin and right now it’s not possible, because of the limited supply.

So instead they want the community to continue to focus on wearing masks, social distancing and trying to stop the spread.

“The key message here is we can’t declare victory too soon. We have been at this place we are right now as far as case counts and things got substantially worse when we didn’t follow that guidance and we had increases in exposures,” said Anderson.

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