CHARLOTTE — The final moments of a loved one’s life, child births or a routine doctors appointments, for two years, all these events have had a limited capacity.
In February, Novant Health announced the COVID-19-induced hospital visitor restrictions would be lifted for anyone over the age of 12 as virus metrics declined in North Carolina.
The restrictions were lifted for anyone over the age of two on Monday, as long as they wear a mask and complete a COVID-19 screening.
The healthcare provider initially limited visitors back in August 2021 due to an increase in virus cases.
Reporter Anthony Kustura talked to Talora Reynolds in February as she prepared to deliver a baby boy at Novant Health’s Elizabeth location.
On delivery day, Reynolds had planned to have only her mom in the room.
“I’m just here for her support,” Teresa Reynold, Talora’s mom, said.
The changing restrictions meant more people could be around for the special moment.
“That means my daddy and everybody else that I want to come see my newborn baby will be able to come in and spend time,” Talora said.
Novant said limits still remain in certain areas and as needed to allow safe social distancing in waiting areas and patient rooms.
Restrictions also remain in place for COVID-19 positive patients who are in the hospital or in the emergency room, as well as patients who are being tested for COVID-19.
Novant Health Medical Group clinics will now let children of all ages go with adults to appointments if child care is not available.
All visitors must:
- Be healthy, with no symptoms of COVID-19.
- Pass a COVID-19 screening, which can be completed online before they arrive by clicking here.
- Properly wear a mask at all times, including while in the patient’s room or exam room.
For more information, click here.
Ryan Gardner, a visitor to Novant, said the change is a relief for families.
“(I) still don’t want to spread it, but you know assuming everyone is healthy they should go in and be with the people they love,” he said.
Reynolds is looking forward to having loved ones by her side when her son is born.
“You need help, support, the nurses can’t do it all the time, so you really need someone there to help you,” she said.
Atrium allowing patients to have two visitors at hospitals
Atrium Health said it’s now allowing two visitors for each adult patient at acute care hospitals. Patients under 18 years old will also be allowed two parents or guardians each.
Also, COVID-positive patients are now allowed one visitor per day in Atrium hospitals.
While visiting Atrium facilities, visitors must:
- Wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times (except while eating in select areas)
- Have a health screening when they enter the building
- Be at least 2 years old. (Children must be supervised at all times and are expected to follow all safety protocols.)
- Be in good health (free from respiratory illness, fever, cough, etc.)
- Stay in the patient room or designated area while visiting the patient; they cannot roam the hospital
- Follow all social distancing and safety guidance, including wearing masks, staying six feet from others and hand washing
For more on Atrium Health’s visitation policy, click here.
(WATCH BELOW: Atrium Health’s new visitor restrictions: What you need to know)
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