The new visitor protocol, which went into effect Friday, limits patients to one visitor a day within specific visiting hours, with some exceptions.
Patients at the end of life will be allowed two visitors, and labor and delivery patients will be allowed one support person throughout their stay.
In addition, patients who need to be accompanied — including children and people with cognitive impairments — will be allowed to have a caregiver or family member stay with them.
All other patients are restricted to one visitor a day from the hours of noon to 6 p.m. No children are allowed to visit and visitors must be 18 or older.
Patients with COVID-19 are not allowed to have visitors.
All visitors must wear masks and leave their full names and contact information when they enter the hospitals.
Cape Cod Healthcare said hospital policy requires visitors to self-screen for symptoms of respiratory illness and fever, as well as for exposure to anyone with a COVID-19 infection during the prior 14 days.
Cape Cod Healthcare's inpatient visitor protocols have gone through several fluctuations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cape Cod and Falmouth hospitals banned visitors in all but a few cases — such as pediatric and maternity cases — at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 after Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts in response to the spread of the coronavirus.
Restrictions eased but then tightened again Nov. 30 as cases started to climb and hospital doors closed to nearly all visitors.
Cape Cod Healthcare employed a one-person per day visitation policy from March 1 2021 until June 2021, during which inpatients were allowed two visitors per day.
This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Cape Cod Healthcare hospitals restrict visitors as COVID surges