Three northeast Iowa hospitals are further restricting visitors, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting today, all routine visiting at at UnityPoint - Allen Hospital in Waterloo, Community Hospital in Sumner and Grundy County Memorial Hospital in Grundy Center has been suspended until transmission of the coronavirus is no longer a threat to patients, staff and community. In a press release, UnityPoint Health officials said the decision to restrict visitors was difficult, but was made after careful consideration.

Allen Hospital is closing entrances 1, 3, 5, 6 and 9 to the public. That means Entrances 2 (off West Dale St.), 4 (emergency department) and 8 (outpatient registration off West Donald St.) will remain open. All patients and visitors entering the hospital will be given a health screening and issued a temporary badge.

At all three hospitals, a visitor will only be allowed if he or she does not have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath). Children under the age of 16 will not be allowed except under extraordinary circumstances, UnityPoint Health officials said.

Exceptions include:

  • Obstetric patients may have one partner and one birth support person accompany them.
  • Nursery and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients may have one birth parent plus one significant other who must remain in the room for the duration of the visit.
  • Patients who are at the end-of-life may have two visitors.
  • Patients with disruptive behavior, where a family member is key to their care, may have one visitor.
  • Patients who have altered mental status or developmental delays (where caregiver provides safety) may have one visitor.
  • Minors under the age of 18 may have one visitor, parents, or guardians.
  • Patients undergoing surgery or procedures may have one visitor who must leave the hospital as soon as possible after the procedure/surgery.
  • Patients who have a clinic, laboratory, or radiology, as well as those visiting the emergency department may have one person with them.

According to hospital officials, visitors must stay in the patient's room the entire time of the visit. Once the visitor leaves the patient's room, he or she must leave the hospital. Visitors will not be allowed for patients with a pending or positive COVID-19 test.

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