TRAVERSE CITY — Munson Healthcare has enhanced its visitor restriction policy and enforced masking for all patients and visitors in clinical care areas.

Effective Saturday, Munson Medical Center will require universal masking for employees, visitors and team members. On Monday, April 6, universal masking will be implemented in ambulatory clinics, community health centers, Munson Home Health and Munson Hospice House.

Employees and health care providers must wear a Munson-issued surgical mask while in the facility. Health care professionals providing care for presumed COVID-19 or known COVID-19 positive patients will be outfitted with N95 respirators.

Patients and visitors are welcome to utilize hand-sewn or self-purchased masks in Munson patient care facilities if they are clean and not torn. This follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation Friday that people wear cloth masks in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies.

Munson also issued limited visitation guidelines, prohibiting visitors with some exceptions.

One visitor will be allowed to accommodate pediatric patients 21 years of age or younger, neonatal intensive care unit patients, obstetrics patients, patients at the end of life, and surgical patients.

It is strongly preferred that each pediatric patient have one caregiver designated as the sole visitor for the entire hospital stay. For obstetrics patients it must be the same person during the entirety of their stay. For surgical patients, if the patient is admitted to the hospital post-surgery, the visitor must then leave the hospital.

All visitors with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are prohibited from entering Munson patient care facilities unless they are seeking treatment.

Statewide cases of COVID-19 rose by 1,481 new confirmed cases with 61 deaths to total 14,225 and 540 deaths.

The Grand Traverse County Health Department reported one additional death and one new confirmed positive case of COVID-19. There have been 12 cases in the county and three deaths. Two patients have recovered.

The deceased patient was a woman in her 80s with a history of domestic travel. The newly confirmed case is a female in her 70s with a history of domestic travel, who is recovering at home. There have been 218 Grand Traverse County residents tested and, of those, 170 tests have come back negative.

District Health Department No. 10, which includes Kalkaska County, reported its second death. The deceased individual is a female Kalkaska County resident in her 70s who was hospitalized at Munson on March 19 and died Saturday.

The Manistee City Police Department learned that two officers tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. The Police Department is working closely with the District Health Department and has notified all potential exposure risks. An additional four officers have been quarantined.

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