UW Health locations in Illinois renew visitor restrictions as COVID-19 case levels rise

ROCKFORD, Ill. – The number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have risen significantly throughout our community and at SwedishAmerican Hospital. Due to this recent surge of COVID-19 cases, UW Health will be temporarily reimposing visitor restrictions for hospital visitors in Illinois facilities.

Effective Monday, November 22, 2021, at 7 a.m., no visitors will be allowed for adult inpatients at SwedishAmerican Hospital with the following limited exceptions.

  • One healthcare decision maker or support person is permitted for those with disabilities who require a support person.
  • One primary support person will be allowed to accompany a patient in the emergency department or a patient having surgery, including a gastroenterology procedure or GI surgery, or cath lab procedure.
  • Limited visitors may be approved for end-of-life patients.
  • Pediatric and NICU patients will continue to be allowed two primary support persons, but patient siblings or anyone under 18 will not be allowed.
  • One adult primary support person will be allowed for maternal labor and delivery care.
  • One visitor will still be allowed to accompany an outpatient to a clinic appointment.
  • No visitors who are currently experiencing or recently experienced COVID-19 or respiratory symptoms, such as a cough or shortness of breath, are permitted.

These visitor restrictions are important to ensure the hospital setting continues to be a safe place for patients and staff, according to Dr. Michael Polizzotto, chief medical officer, UW Health, Northern Illinois. “Hospitalizations are rising rapidly, and we are taking action to protect against exposures and focus on providing quality care to our patients,” said Polizzotto. “For now, we urge people to only come to the hospital for care or if you’re needed as a primary support person.”

While this policy goes into effect on Nov. 22, UW Health urges the public to observe the new guidelines immediately. Experts at UW Health also urge the public to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine if they have not already done so, or a COVID-19 vaccine booster if they are eligible.

“Raising our vaccination rate is essential to prevent the surge we’re starting to see,” Polizzotto said.

Wearing a mask over the nose and mouth is still required by all patients, staff and visitors at all times in all UW Health facilities to protect our patients and the staff caring for them. For those coming to UW Health locations, we ask that patients and visitors continue to be patient, honest and kind to those at the entrances working to screen everyone and ensure COVID-19 risk stays low in the hospital. We thank the community for their support during this challenging time.