By Karen Morfitt

LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, Banner Health Medical facilities in northern Colorado are moving to a no visitor policy across the board. The decision was made to help protect healthcare workers as well as patients, and will have only three exceptions.

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Anyone under the age of 18, women in labor and individuals with physical or cognitive limitations or disabilities can have one visitor with them. For those who do not have an exception, it’s a tough pill to swallow.

“As of Monday, they said no visitors at all, and I can’t imagine a 92-year-old woman who is already confused not being able to see her family. It’s going to destroy her.

Tonja Henry’s grandmother was admitted into Banner McKee Medical Center in Loveland last week for an infection. Henry has been by her side every day since, which she says is needed right now.

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“I cant imagine her sitting lonely not knowing what’s going on and why no one is coming to see her,” she said.

The tighter restrictions go beyond hospital visits and includes clinics, urgent cares, imaging and surgery centers as well as occupational health services.

In a statement Banner Health says,

“We understand this will be challenging, but we’re committed to take take the necessary precautions to protect our patients, healthcare workers and the community.”

Some we spoke with say it is difficult, but they understand the “why” behind the decision. Others say it will make them think twice about seeking treatment.

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“I wouldn’t even want to go in,” one woman said as she and her boyfriend left McKee Medical Center.

Henry says she’s worried about the unintended consequences.

“They don’t have a backup plan for this, they are just going to cut everyone off and see what happens like a stupid experiment,” she said.

Other hospitals in the area like HealthOne and UCHealth are limiting visitors as well, often patients can have one visitor per day.

SCL Health has one hospital on the Western Slope, St. Mary’s in Grand Junction, which also has a no visitor policy, but their Denver metro area hospitals have not made any changes.

Karen Morfitt

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