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Now that spring is right here and COVID-19 infection prices stay fairly low in Illinois, Advocate Overall health Care is relaxing its going to and masking protocols.

Starting Monday, all Advocate areas — which incorporates Illinois Masonic Healthcare Center and Lutheran Common Hospital — will no longer limit the quantity of patient guests nor need face masks “under most situations,” the wellness care method announced Friday.

The going to alterations do not apply to basic pediatric and pediatric intensive care settings, which will continue to permit only two guests at a time, the wellness care method mentioned.

Masking will continue to be necessary for guests of sufferers in “transmission-primarily based isolation,” such as sufferers who are COVID-19 constructive.

“We understand and recognize how crucial it is for sufferers to have guests and it undoubtedly contributes to recovery in the hospital and then immediately after they leave the hospital,” Dr. Robert Citronberg, an Advocate infectious illness specialist, told reporters Friday.

Citronberg described the masking policy modify as a “really large step,” noting that masks have been necessary given that the start out of the pandemic.

“Now, with declining prices of neighborhood transmission of COVID in all the counties in Illinois in which we serve sufferers, we are safely capable to eliminate that masking requirement,” he mentioned. “This is in accordance with [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidance and other state and federal regulations as well.”

Individuals who have tested constructive for COVID-19 or who have been exposed to somebody who has tested constructive for the virus nonetheless ought to wait ten days prior to going to a patient, the wellness care method mentioned.

Northwestern Medicine and UChicago Medicine mentioned Friday that their COVID-19 protocols stay unchanged. These hospital systems need masks for most guests and while visitor restrictions differ, in most situations, no a lot more than two guests per patient are permitted at any a single time.

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