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St. Luke's Hospital joining other task force hospitals in limiting visitors

"Rapidly rising, highly transmissible variants of the COVID-19 virus have emerged causing us to evaluate our visitor policy," the hospital said in a statement.
Credit: KSDK

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — St. Luke's Hospital is joining SSM and BJC in limiting visitors amid the omicron surge.

Beginning January 5, patients will be limited to one visitor per patient per day in inpatient units, same-day surgery/outpatient surgery, the emergency department and urgent care centers, a message from the hospital said.

Patients in the obstetrics, labor and delivery, nursery, special care nursery, and pediatrics will be allowed two designated visitors. Compassionate care visits for end-of-life patients will be coordinated on an individual basis, the hospital said.

"We recognize and fully support the important role loved ones play in helping patients heal," the message said. "However, rapidly rising, highly transmissible variants of the COVID-19 virus have emerged causing us to evaluate our visitor policy."

BJC Healthcare and SSM Health both announced last week that they were restricting visitors.

RELATED: Some health care systems restricting visitors amid COVID-19 surge in St. Louis

Starting Monday, patients at BJC will be allowed to have one designated visitor in inpatient units. Two visitors will be allowed for pediatric, obstetrics, and end-of-life patients.

SSM Health has now updated its visitor policy. One support person is allowed at a time. That applies to inpatient, outpatient surgical procedures, emergency department and clinical appointments.

Two designated visitors are allowed for those in the Family Birthplace. And two parents or guardians are allowed for pediatric patients.

All guests at SSM will also have to follow the health guidelines, including:

  • Wearing approved face coverings, even when in the patient room.
  • All individuals must be screened for symptoms upon arrival.
  • Everyone must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving a patient’s room.
  • All guests will receive a badge to properly identify them while inside our buildings.

St. Luke's, SSM, and BJC are all part of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force. Days after task force leaders called the current state of COVID-19 in area hospitals "really a frightening scenario," the numbers continued to climb, as task force leaders predicted they would. Despite reporting 499 COVID discharges in the last four days, the number of COVID patients in task force hospitals climbed from 735 on Thursday to 964 on Monday.

RELATED: St. Louis area hospitals report record number of COVID hospitalizations, children hospitalized with COVID