MT. VERNON, IL — As the rate of COVID-19 infection decreases in our community, SSM Health is adjusting its visitor policy in the southern Illinois region.
Beginning Thursday, March 31, all SSM Health facilities in southern Illinois will no longer restrict visitors for non-COVID positive patients. COVID positive patients are still under a strict, no visitor policy.
“After careful consideration of the number of COVID-19 cases and low transmission rate in our community, we feel that the time has come where we can safely lift the visitor restrictions in our facilities. We are thankful to our patients and the community who have trusted us with their care during this difficult time. We believe that it is now safe to expand our visitor policy at this time and we will continue to monitor the situation and make changes as needed,” shared John Kohler, Sr, MD, Chief Medical Officer, for SSM Health in Illinois.
Visiting hours will be extended at both hospitals, allowing visitors between the hours of 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. daily. Visiting hours do not apply to outpatient surgical cases and Emergency Department guests. An overnight visitor may be allowed in certain situations and must be approved by nursing leadership.
The age restriction on visitors has also been lifted.
The infusion center at SSM Health Cancer Care – Oza Cancer Center will not allow visitors at this time in order to protect immunocompromised patients.
The masking policy has not changed inside our health ministries. All visitors, ages 2 and up, are still required to wear a mask inside our health ministries. We strongly recommend surgical/droplet masks.
Our SSM Health infection prevention team continues to evaluate the current COVID-19 environment and has set guidelines for our regions to follow. We will continue to make decisions based on this guidance and will update our policies as we enter new phases of the pandemic.