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Franciscan Health puts new visitor restrictions in place due to COVID-19 spike 

With cases of COVID-19 growing in recent weeks, Franciscan Health is taking steps to limit potential spread of the virus with new visitor restrictions at its hospital in Olympia Fields.

The restrictions taking effect on Monday, Oct. 26.

“We’re modifying our visitor restrictions for safety purposes, and to do our part as a healthcare provider in reducing the spread of the virus. We appreciate the community’s support and understanding of our efforts to create the safest possible environment for our patients, employees and physicians,” said Allan Spooner, president and CEO of Franciscan Health Olympia Fields. “Our leadership team will continue to review the virus trends on a daily basis and adjust to changing conditions in the safest manner possible.”

Adult visitors will be allowed under specific circumstances. The hospital will continue screening all visitors to determine if they are at risk for COVID-19 or other communicable diseases. Those who do not pass screenings will not be permitted to enter the hospital. All visitors will be required to wear a mask, practice social distancing and practice good hand hygiene.

The visitor restrictions are:

  • Inpatients, critical care inpatients, outpatients/ambulatory patients and patients having surgery are not allowed visitors unless they meet certain exceptions.
  • A woman in labor will be allowed one visitor, a spouse or partner during labor and delivery. A labor coach also is allowed.
  • Mothers and their significant other will be allowed to visit a child in NICU after meeting daily screenings for temperature and COVID-19 symptoms. Visitation is denied if they fail to pass the screening. The hospital will make visit exceptions for a patient’s extraordinary circumstances.
  • No visitors are allowed with patients in the emergency room, unless they fall under certain exceptions. Victims of sexual assault have the right to an advocate.
  • Only one visitor will be allowed for patients that do not have actual or legal decisional capacity. Those include persons under 18, persons with dementia and persons whose condition precludes obtaining an accurate history or decision making.
  • If the patient is at end of life, one visitor will be allowed for the duration. A second visitor will be allowed on a rotating basis with no more than two visitors at a time.
  • If the patient has COVID and is at end of life, one visitor will be allowed if they wear full personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Clergy are allowed to visit. A patient can request a Franciscan Spiritual Care Department representative or a clergy member from the community, but he or she must wear PPE while with the patient.

The hospital’s entrance points of access remain restricted to the main entrance for patients and visitors and the emergency department entrance for emergency department patients only.

Every patient and visitor who enters is required to pass a health screening. They will receive and are required to wear a visitor sticker during their time in the hospital.

The hospital administrator stressed that these rules are in place because of a public health issue, and it is Franciscan Health’s intent to protect the health and safety of patients, visitors and employees. The policies can help reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, flu and other seasonal-communicable medical issues.

Those with general questions about coronavirus can find resources online, which are updated regularly, including:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov 
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health at www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19
  • Franciscan Health at www.franciscanhealth.org/covid-19.

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