NorthShore University HealthSystem is imposing restriction on hospital visitors as a result of the COVID-19 situation. Starting today, no inpatient visitors will be allowed at any of the system’s five hospitals.

In a statement, hospital officials said “We regret any hardship or inconvenience this may cause. However, this action is essential to control the spead of COVID-19.”

In addition only one person screened for COVID-19 risk factors will be permitted to accompany an individual to outpatient visits and to the emergency department.

In the maternity ward, only the partner or one screened visitor may visit at a time.

The statement urges patients “to use technology to supprt phone or video visits.”

AMITA Health St. Francis Hospital in Evanston has also implemented visitor restrictions, encouraging relatives to contact patients by telephone.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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