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Visitors mostly banned as St. Louis area hospitals fight spread of coronavirus

Visitors mostly banned as St. Louis area hospitals fight spread of coronavirus

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Coronavirus infection provention meeting at SSM

Theresa Gratton, center, updates the coronavirus incident management board as Chris Zirges, SSM Health's director of infection prevention, right, watches after they held a health system-wide infection prevention conference call at the company's Creve Coeur headquarters on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS — The major health systems in the St. Louis region have tightened visitor restrictions, in efforts to protect patients, staff and local communities from the spread of COVID-19.

Mercy, SSM Health, BJC Healthcare and MU Health Care have all barred visitors, but all have exceptions for patients in obstetrics or pediatrics, and for extreme circumstances. Many are following age restrictions for visitors.

Mercy on Sunday released new restrictions for five hospitals in the area. With few exceptions, no visitors will be allowed at:

  • Mercy Hospital St. Louis, in Creve Coeur
  • Mercy Hospital South, in St. Louis County
  • Mercy Hospital Jefferson, in Festus
  • Mercy Hospital Washington
  • Mercy Hospital Lincoln, in Troy

Mercy said in a statement that it would allow one or two visitors under certain circumstances, like in the obstetrics, neonatal intensive care and pediatrics departments, and for urgent procedures and child or adolescent behavioral health.

BJC announced on Saturday that it would suspend most visitation at its facilities, with exceptions in some cases, like obstetrics, pediatrics, nursery and neonatal intensive care, end-of-life situations and certain behavioral health situations.

BJC is barring visitors under 16 years old, except in extraordinary circumstances.

SSM Health announced Saturday that it would not allow visitors in its St. Louis-area hospitals starting Monday. Pediatric patients will be allowed one visitor with the permission of a nursing leader, and the same rule applies in the family birthplace and for end-of-life situations. Visitors must be 16 years or older at some of SSM's hospitals, and 18 years or older at others, including: SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, SSM Health Saint Mary’s Hospital and SSM Health DePaul Hospital.

MU Health Care announced Sunday that it would no longer allow visitors in its hospitals, with a few exceptions, and that it would limit the public entrances to its hospitals.

MU Health Care has exceptions for labor and delivery, pediatric patients and end-of-life situations.

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