By Mike Kruzman /

A pair of local hospitals have eased policies a touch to allow visitors who wish to visit loved ones in their care.

The St. Joseph Mercy Health System, which includes the St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital in Howell and the Brighton Health Center, have eased visitor policies for non-COVID patients. A release states that this decision was made after careful consideration and is in alignment with government and official guidance.

Effective immediately, the hospitals will allow one visitor, per patient, per day. If a patient is a minor, or in the Birthing Center, they will be allowed 2 visitors per day. Elevated safety measures including screening visitors at all points-of-entry continue to be in effect. Those allowed in will be required to wear a mask or face covering, if medically able. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, St. Joe’s is still not allowing visitors for COVID-19-positive patients. The hospital is also strongly discouraging visitors from visiting patients at high risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19. This includes older adults and people with underlying medical conditions. A No Visitor Policy also remains in effect for outpatient offices such as lab and radiology and cancer treatment areas.

Chief Clinical Officer Rosalie Tocco-Bradley said the hospitals will continue to review and evaluate visitor policies on an ongoing basis to ensure the safety and wellbeing of patients and staff.

Alternatives to in-person visits, such as video or audio calls will continue to be offered.