Huntsville Hospital Health System announced Monday that it will stop all in-patient elective surgeries and will once again alter its visitor policy due to rising COVID-19 cases that have filled hospital rooms.
Huntsville Hospital president Tracy Doughty said that there are currently 122 COVID patients in Madison County, up from 18 just a month ago. Over 90 percent, he said, were unvaccinated.
That rise in cases, along with a vaccination rate that still lags well below the national average, prompted Huntsville Hospital to end elective surgeries that require an overnight stay and to limit visitors.
The new guidelines require all visitors to be over 16 and to wear a mask. Non-COVID patients are allowed to have one visitor. COVID patients can have one visitor, but that visitor can only stay for two hours.
“For those who may push back and question it, it’s for their safety and their loved ones safety,” Doughty said. “We’re not trying to be intrusive in their personal life or too restrictive, we’re trying to be proactive.”
The changes affect only the Huntsville Hospital properties in Huntsville and Madison.