Traverse City News and Events

Munson Increases Visitor Restrictions, Requires Universal Masking

By Beth Milligan | April 5, 2020

Munson Healthcare had increased visitor restrictions and mask usage in response to rising community cases of COVID-19.

UNIVERSAL MASKING
Effective Saturday, Munson Healthcare has implemented universal masking in all hospitals. Effective Monday, universal masking will be required at all ambulatory clinics, community health centers, Munson Home Health, and Munson Hospice House. This universal masking approach for clinical care areas will serve to:

> Protect Healthcare team members, patients, and visitors if contact occurs with an asymptomatic COVID-19 carrier, or if they develop symptoms while at work (a mask achieves source control and decreases the risk of spreading infection).

> Protect Healthcare team members should they come in close contact with an individual with either asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 infection, or who has symptoms that have not yet been recognized.

Universal masking means that all employees and providers must wear a Munson Healthcare-issued surgical mask while in a Munson Healthcare patient care facility. The only exception will be healthcare professionals wearing N95 respirators while providing care for presumed COVID-19 or known COVID-19 positive patients. Patients and visitors may wear a Munson Healthcare issued mask OR their own hand-sewn or purchased masks as long as they are clean and not torn.

Munson Healthcare currently has "an adequate, but not inexhaustible, stock of medically approved surgical and masks and N95 respirators," the organization said in a release. "In an effort to maintain the supply and ensure availability in the future, conservation of masks is essential now.  Munson Healthcare is providing staff education and deploying conservation tactics to monitor equipment supply. Munson Healthcare Supply Chain is working diligently to secure additional stocks of surgical masks and N95 respirators."

INCREASED VISITOR RESTRICTIONS
Due to the community spread of COVID-19, new guidelines prohibit all visitors, with the following exceptions:

> Pediatric patients: One adult primary caregiver (such as a parent, foster parent, or guardian) may accompany a pediatric patient 21 years of age or under or a NICU patient. It is strongly preferred that each pediatric patient have one caregiver designated as the sole visitor for the entire hospital stay.

> Obstetrics patients: One birthing partner or support person may accompany an obstetrics patient, and it must be the same person during the entirety of their stay. Other people desired for support can provide that support through video technologies.

> Patients at the end of life: One visitor is permitted.

> Surgical patients: One visitor may accompany the patient. If the surgical patient is admitted to the hospital post-surgery, the visitor must then leave the hospital.

> Individuals performing official governmental functions: Personnel from law enforcement, adult protective services, and other such groups are allowed to enter a patient’s room, but only one at a time.

All visitors with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are prohibited from entering Munson Healthcare patient care facilities unless they are seeking treatment.

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