Madison hospitals not making changes to visitor policies as Dane Co. sees increased COVID-19 activity

MADISON, Wis. — Despite Dane County increasing to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s medium community COVID-19 activity level on Friday, Madison’s largest hospitals are not immediately reimplementing stricter visitor rules they previously loosened.

Earlier this week, UW Health and UnityPoint Health-Meriter announced they were loosening rules to allow adult patients to be accompanied by two people and for siblings to be able to accompany pediatric patients in clinics for ambulatory appointments. In an email Friday afternoon, UW Health press secretary Emily Kumlien said there are no plans to change course.

SSM Health announced a similar move in March. Dr. Amy Franta, SSM Health Wisconsin’s chief medical officer, said the provider will continue to stay the course it laid out last month.

“Although we are not nearly at the levels that we have been before, we’re starting to see just a slight uptick in our number of hospitalized patients,” Franta said.

RELATED: Dane Co. moves up to ‘medium’ COVID-19 spread, health officials urge boosters to keep hospitalizations low

One metric the CDC is now using to calculate a community’s COVID-19 activity level is the percentage of staffed inpatient beds being used by COVID patients. The agency reported Friday that number in Dane County is 1.6%.

The latest data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services showed no significant change in COVID-19 patient hospitalizations statewide except for the northeastern portion of the state, including the Green Bay and Door County areas.