Now, over a year into the pandemic, hospitals are inclined to relax visitor restrictions for non-COVID-19 patients.
The current policy for visitors at Huntsville Memorial Hospital since the pandemic began has been stern. There are no visitors unless it is a parent/guardian of a pediatric patient or one support person for labor and delivery patients. All visitors must be over the age of 18, according to Huntsville Memorial Hospital.
This policy prevents visitors from seeing isolated and dying relatives from other conditions other than COVID-19.
This policy has been tough on many patients but it is safe enough to start relaxing on restrictions. Despite the strict policy, Walker County hospitals should allow visitors to non-COVID-19 patients with a level of caution.
The average number of cases in Texas has decreased by 580.6 cases over the past two weeks, which is a decrease of 12.4%, according to the Associated Press.
However, this is in comparison to the increase in active cases in Walker County, according to Walker County Emergency Management.
This number in Walker County is low. Only 101 cases compared to massive spikes of COVID-19 cases in the past. While cases may be going up in the county, vaccination rates are also going up.
Vaccination rates should only increase as Texas has now opened eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccines to all adults in the state, giving hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight.
As more vaccines become available in the coming months, those who have become vaccinated can have greater freedom during visitation, like some airports that require cards stating that you have been vaccinated.
What seems to be the right solution is to let the visitor policy be more open than it was at the beginning of the pandemic but still have some restrictions in place to keep others safe.
Non-COVID-19 patients could have a visitor or two when in the hospital but enforce mask use and social distancing when applicable.
There still needs to be a level of caution to avoid having another spike in cases. However, the fact that more COVID-19 vaccines are being given out, brings a level of hope to the bleak situation.