After more than six months of prohibiting visitors in almost all cases, the DCH Health System is relaxing rules implemented earlier this year and will allow most patients in its three hospitals to have guests come to see them once again.

Citing guidance in the amended Safer-at-Home order that Gov. Kay Ivey released Wednesday, DCH spokesperson Andy North said that effective Friday, most of the patients in DCH System facilities will be allowed one healthy visitor at a time.

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There are some exceptions -- any patient who is COVID-19 positive will still not be allowed to have visitors, except in end-of-life circumstances. In Fayette County, the coronavirus positivity rate exceeds levels recommended by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, so visitors will still be prohibited at DCH's Long Term Care facility in Fayette. Late-might visitation is also still prohibited in all DCH facilities from 9 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. every day, except in end-of-life circumstances.

Even as the rules relax slightly, visitation will still be strictly regulated -- patients are only allowed one visitor at a time, and each guest must check in and out with hospital security, be at least 16 years old, wear a mask at all times, submit to a health screening, stay in designated areas and more.

Read the updated rules and regulations at DCH's website here.