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Hillsdale Hos­pital is now allowing two healthy grand­parents to visit laboring mothers and newborn babies. Maggie Hroncich | Collegian

Hillsdale Hos­pital is now allowing two healthy grand­parents to visit laboring mothers and newborn babies as of Feb. 25.

Due to COVID-19 restric­tions, vis­itors to the birthing center were restricted to one adult support person throughout the duration of the laboring mother’s stay for most of 2020, according to a press release. 

As the number of coro­n­avirus cases has dropped and remained low through the beginning of 2021, the hos­pital decided it could now allow “extra vis­i­tation without cre­ating any sig­nif­icant risk for our patients or our care­givers,” according to Rachel Lott, director of mar­keting and development.

Lott said the vis­iting restric­tions were relaxed last June when cases decreased, but stricter guide­lines were rein­sti­tuted in November when cases increased again.

“There was a point in the pan­demic where we did open up again to allow two healthy grand­parents along with the des­ig­nated support person for the laboring mother,” Lott said. “Then we went back to only allowing the support person when the numbers got really high in the fall, but we’ve seen those numbers drop again significantly.” 

She said the decision to limit vis­itors was never an easy bal­ancing act for hos­pital administrators.

“We know the impor­tance of folks having their family members with them for their health care, and par­tic­u­larly in the birthing center because it’s such a major mile­stone in someone’s life to bring a new child into the world,” Lott said. “Now that we believe that we can do that safely. We always have to balance the safety and the risks related to vis­i­tation with the impor­tance of that for the patient and their family, so we’ve had to make some dif­ficult deci­sions over the course of the pan­demic related to that, but we are thrilled that we are able to do this again and to open that backup.”