Tuscaloosa's DCH Regional Medical Center is once again limiting the number of visitors allowed in the hospital as COVID-19 cases continue to spike in the area.

In their daily report, DCH revealed that 52 inpatients were COVID-positive at 3 o'clock Monday afternoon. A week ago, on July 19th, there were only 11 patients hospitalized with the virus -- an almost 400 percent increase in just seven days.

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The spike in cases corresponds to the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the novel coronavirus and Alabama's low vaccination rate.

In the Monday report, DCH announced that it will once again heavily restrict visitors to the hospitals in its System.

Effective at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday the following requirements will be in place until further notice:

Except for end-of-life events, COVID-positive patients will not be allowed to have any visitors, except in "certain extenuating circumstances" "when the person’s presence may improve the physical care, safety and/or emotional well-being of the patient."

Patients who are not COVID-positive will be allowed up to two visitors per day.

The rules below will also apply to all visitors:

  • Each support person must check in and check out with Security.
  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Wear a mask at all times.
  • Wear additional personal protective equipment in certain circumstances if deemed necessary by the clinical staff.
  • Agree to practice appropriate hand hygiene.
  • Wear a visitor badge during the entire visit.
  • Remain in the patient’s room or the assigned waiting room (where space for proper social distancing is available; otherwise, the visitor will be asked to leave until space becomes available) except for basic personal needs.
  • Be courteous and kind to the staff and others.
  • Follow all clinical staff instructions.

Read through DCH's updated visitation policy here.

Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more local coverage of COVID-19, vaccination efforts, the Delta variant and more.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

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