Almost from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic hospitals were closed to visitors because there was no way to know how dangerous or transmissible the disease would be. As we got further into the pandemic, the fear of visitors bringing the coronavirus into hospitals or having them be exposed to the disease and taking it home to their jobs kept most hospitals closed to visitors. That is being relaxed a little at a time as more and more people are getting vaccinated.

The Hospitals of Providence announced earlier this week that they are expanding their daily visitation hours for non-COVID patients. According to the new guidelines you can visit someone in the hospital who does not have COVID-19 between the hours of 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Hospitals of Providence officials say they have put the new measures into place "to ensure family and friends can see their loved ones in the hospital and spend additional time with them."

vadimguzhva

If you go to visit a non-COVID patient in the Hospitals of Providence facilities you will be screened before you go into the hospital and you will have to wear a facemask the entire time you are in the facility. You will have to sanitize your hands as well and if you don't meeting the screening criteria or follow the safety protocols you will either be denied entry into the hospital or you will be asked to leave. Only visitors 18 years and older can visit a patient in the facility.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

It's good that visitors are being allowed back into hospitals a little at a time. Doctors have been saying that they know that the lack of visitors and family contact has been a problem for patients because they feel isolated from loved ones. Please follow the protocols to the letter if you go visit someone at the Hospitals of Providence. This is just one more step on the road back to normal life for all of us.

KEEP READING: Scroll to see what the big headlines were the year you were born