Published on February 14, 2022

Medical Centers in Alma, Mt. Pleasant Ease Visitor Restrictions Effective Feb. 15

With COVID-19 hospitalizations and community cases of the virus decreasing, MyMichigan Medical Centers in Alma and Mt. Pleasant will ease visitor restrictions effective Feb. 15. Visiting hours for Medical Center Inpatient Units will now be held daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Behavioral Health Units remain daily from 6 to 8 p.m., and visitors of patients in Specialized Care Units are to check with the nurse’s station to determine appropriate visiting times.

“We recognize that an important aspect of care and healing is having a family member or support person with our patients whenever possible,” said Marita Hattem-Schiffman, president, MyMichigan Medical Centers in Alma, Clare and Mt. Pleasant. “We have been carefully monitoring the number of state and local cases and are pleased to see a steady decline. However, the safety of our patients, visitors and employees is our priority. While we will ease our visitor restrictions, our protocols for health screening, universal masking and social distancing in our facilities will remain in place.”

Based on current available COVID-19 data, the visitor policy for MyMichigan Medical Centers in Alma and Mt. Pleasant has been updated to the following: 

Inpatients

  • Each inpatient who is not COVID positive is allowed 2 visitors/support persons at a time.
  • Maternity inpatients may have 2 support persons plus a certified doula. The support persons must be the same two individuals during the entire stay. Support persons may be further restricted during triage, outpatient visits or special procedures. Exceptions may be granted based on individual circumstances upon patient request and as supported by the care team.
  • Due to space limitations, some waiting rooms may be closed or restricted in number of visitors. Inpatient visitations should occur in the patient room.

Emergency Departments

  • Only 1 visitor/support person per patient, unless therapeutic to the patient and approved by the staff.
  • Pediatric patients may have 2 parents or legal guardians.

Doctor’s Offices, Outpatient and Surgical Departments

  • Patients who are not COVID-19 positive or suspect may designate 1 support person during outpatient visits, such as doctor appointments or testing.
  • Pediatric patients may have 2 parents or legal guardians.

For patient support outside of the defined visiting guidelines, if the care team determines a visitor is essential to support the communication between the care team and a patient with developmental delay, significant cognitive or physical impairment and/or for the care of the patient, one visitor may be allowed. Additional consideration for a visitor will be given to patient circumstance around informed consent, hospice care or end of life decisions. 

In addition, as with current practice, visitors/support persons must be 16 or older and screen negative for symptoms of respiratory disease, which include: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. Children under 16 years of age are not allowed, except under exceptional circumstances. 

Upon entry to the facility, masks must be worn throughout the duration of the visit. 

“Masking remains a requirement in all health care settings,” said Hattem-Schiffman. “Patients, visitors and support persons on site at our facilities must wear a properly fitting mask that always covers the nose and mouth. This includes all persons who have also received the COVID-19 vaccine. For those unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, a face shield will be provided.” 

In addition to visitor limitations and masking, MyMichigan continues to follow other COVID-19 prevention protocols at all its facilities. These additional steps include cleaning and sanitizing measures, and modification of waiting rooms and reception areas to accommodate social distancing. 

MyMichigan offers several free electronic communication services that can help family and friends keep in touch while these visiting limitations are in effect: 

  • E-Cards (www.MyMichigan.org/e-card) – Send electronic greetings to inpatients.
  • Guest Wireless Internet Access (www.MyMichigan.org/wireless) – Free wireless Internet access is available at all MyMichigan facilities. Healthy adult visitors at these sites may wish to bring a laptop or wireless device to communicate with family and friends via e-mail.
  • Telephone – All inpatient and nursing home rooms have phones with free local calls. Visitors may also use their cell phones in designated areas. 

As a service to the community, MyMichigan Health hosts a COVID-19 informational hotline with a reminder of CDC guidelines and recommendations. Staff is also available to help answer community questions Monday through Friday. The hotline can be reached toll-free at (800) 445-7356 or (989) 794-7600. In addition, inquiries can be sent to MyMichigan Health via Facebook messenger at www.facebook.com/MyMichigan. More information can also be found at www.MyMichigan.org/covid19

Those interested in a current list of COVID-19 testing site locations may visit www.michigan.gov/coronavirustest.