Cleveland-area hospitals lift visitation restrictions as COVID-19 cases plummet
Updated: 9:08 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022
Cleveland-area hospitals are allowing patients to have more visitors, after several months of restrictions due to an unprecedented influx of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Cleveland Clinic patients, including those being treated for COVID-19, can now have two visitors age 18 and older per day. Previously, only one visitor per day was allowed.
The new visitation policy takes effect today, Feb. 22, 2022.
“We are optimistic about the ongoing decrease of COVID-19 positivity rates, both at our testing sites and in our communities. This sustained trend means we are able to safely invite more visitors back to see our patients,” Cleveland Clinic officials said in a statement.
University Hospitals, which had previously restricted visitors to one per a patient’s entire stay, is now permitting one designated visitor per day, its policy states.
MetroHealth allows two visitors per day, which has not changed. As of Feb. 7, COVID-positive adults in isolation may have one adult visitor per day, and COVD-positive minors in isolation may have up to two adult visitors, according to the hospital’s policy.
Summa Health in Akron also updated its visitation policy Tuesday. Non-COVID patients are permitted two visitors at a time, while those who are COVID-positive are allowed one visitor per stay, according to the policy.
Visitors at all three hospitals must wear a mask while in the building, regardless of vaccination status. They will also be screened for COVID-19 symptoms when they arrive.
Cleveland hospitals became overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients in early December 2021. But over the past few weeks, COVID-19 cases have sharply dropped in Cuyahoga County, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention downgraded the county from its designation of “high” transmission to “substantial” transmission, according to officials.
The rate of COVID infection is now about 70 cases per 100,000 residents, and fewer than 9 percent of tests are coming back positive, Health Commissioner Terry Allan said last week.
"Cuyahoga County had the highest case rate in the state on Jan. 1," Allan said. "By Jan. 24, we had the lowest case rate in the state."
The drastic change over the course of the month was driven by the highly contagious omicron variant, he said.