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Visitation is limited. All patients and permitted visitors are required to wear a Munson Healthcare-issued mask.

Munson Healthcare Restricts Visitor Access Due to Surge


Munson Healthcare is limiting visitor access to Munson Healthcare facilities effective Monday, March 29, due to a spike in community spread of the COVID-19 virus and its variants, and because more residents with the virus are requiring hospital care in northern Michigan. 

The number of patients with the pandemic virus who have been hospitalized has doubled during the past two weeks.

Munson Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Christine Nefcy, M.D., FAAP, said the changes again are necessary to ensure the safety of patients and staff as the virus and its variants impact the region and spring break travel increases spread risk.

“We all want this pandemic to end, but COVID-19 continues to be a serious public health threat, and as a health system we are here to meet all patient care needs in our communities,” she said. “Our visitation restrictions are an important step to keeping everyone safe and to ensuring our healthcare system can continue to maintain normal operations.”  
Exceptions to the visitor restrictions include:

  • Obstetrics patients: One birthing partner or support person (must be the same person during the duration of their stay) and one certified doula. Hospitalized obstetric patients with a COVID-19 positive diagnosis are allowed one visitor, with appropriate personal protective equipment. For first ultrasound of new pregnancy only, one support person is permitted.
  • Pediatric patients (21 years of age or younger): May have one adult primary caregiver at a time (such as a parent, foster parent or guardian). It is strongly preferred that the caregiver is the same for the duration of their stay, or visit in outpatient settings. If a NICU patient is a multiple and their sibling (twin, triplet, etc.) is not a NICU patient, the multiple sibling may visit with the primary caregiver. No other siblings under 18 years may visit pediatric patients.
  • Patients can have one support person:
    - If the support person is essential to the care of the patient/medically necessary.
    - If the patient has intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, cognitive impairments including dementia, or behavioral concerns.
    - If the patient needs communication support or assistance due to the specifics of their disability.
  • End of life:
    - Up to four visitors per day, two at a time.
    - Visitors must maintain social distancing with members of the Healthcare Team.
    - Visitors for patients at end of life may be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, including those under the age of 18.
    - Visitors for patients with a COVID-19 positive diagnosis who are at this stage must wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • Overnight stays: Limited to obstetrics, pediatrics, and extenuating circumstances approved by the care team.
  • Individuals performing spiritual care, legal or governmental functions: One spiritual advisor of a patient’s choosing is allowed one visit. Personnel from law enforcement, adult protective services, interpreters, and other such groups are allowed one at a time.

Some departments, patient populations, clinics and practices require additional precautions, so please call ahead. 

Approved visitors:

  • Will be required to answer COVID-19 screening questions about current health
  • Will be required to provide their name and phone number for contact tracing purposes
  • Will need to wear an MHC-issued mask provided by the facility
  • Must go directly to and from patient’s room or to and from their appointment 
  • Must maintain social distancing with members of the healthcare team at all times
  • Must wash hands or use alcohol sanitizer before and after leaving any rooms as well as the facility

Waiting rooms will not be open to visitors at this time. Only essential vendors are allowed access to Munson Healthcare facilities.

Munson Healthcare’s long-term care visitation policy has not changed. Learn more about long-term policy.

Munson Healthcare urges the community to continue wear a mask in public and avoid large gatherings during spring break. Those who travel should continue to be cautious. Area residents eligible for a vaccination are encouraged to take the steps to receive one. 
The best way to avoid the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 continues to be these practices:

  • Wash hands frequently, for 20 seconds with soap, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at 60 percent – 95 percent alcohol
  • Cough into a tissue when possible (throw it away immediately) or into your arm if necessary
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose 
  • Avoid contact with those who are ill
  • Stay home from work if ill and keep sick kids home from school
  • Avoid contact with other people's hands (handshakes, high fives, and fist bumps can all transfer viruses)
  • Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

To learn more about Munson Healthcare preparations, go to