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Local Hospitals to Restrict Visitors as COVID-19 Spreads Locally


As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase throughout central Illinois, Decatur Memorial Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital will suspend visitors for inpatients effective Saturday, Oct. 31, in order to protect patients and ensure healthcare professionals can continue to safely offer all services.

Macon County currently has the fifth-highest rate of COVID-19 in the state, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Visitors for inpatients will also be suspended at HSHS St. John’s Hospital and Memorial Medical Center as of Monday, Nov. 2.

“COVID-19 is spreading throughout our community. Many people may have COVID-19, and could be contagious before they are showing symptoms,” said Dr. Raj Govindaiah, chief medical officer of Memorial Health System. “Our mission is to improve the health of the people and communities we serve, and this policy will allow us to do that.”

“We understand this no-visitor restriction is extremely difficult, especially for those who have loved ones in the hospital with severe health issues,” said Gurpreet Mander, HSHS Illinois chief physician executive. “But along with many other hospitals across the nation, we are taking this step to keep our patients, colleagues and community as safe as possible.”

The hospitals will allow exceptions with approval in limited circumstances in areas such as the emergency department, obstetrics, pediatrics, certain outpatient procedures and surgeries as well as for those who may be in end-of-life care or to support a patient with an intellectual disability. More detailed information can be found on our individual hospital websites (HSHS St. John’s Hospital, HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital, Memorial Medical Center, Decatur Memorial Hospital).

All visitors must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth at all times while in the hospital.

In order to support communication, information will be provided to patients and families using telephones or video methods when possible.

The restrictions will be re-evaluated as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

“We understand that implementing visitor restrictions is not ideal,” Dr. Mander said. “But we ask that you remain patient and continue to socially distance from those around you.”

“We are taking this difficult step in order to ensure that we can continue to offer all services and continue to care for the community,” Dr. Govindaiah said. “We ask the community support us by getting your flu shots, and by following the ‘W’s to control community spread: Wash your hands, Wear a mask and Watch your distance.”

About Memorial Health System

One of the leading healthcare organizations in Illinois, Memorial Health System of Springfield is a community-based, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to patient care, education and research. Our more than 6,700 staff members, partnering physicians and hundreds of volunteers are dedicated to improving the health of the communities we have served since 1897. In a year, we serve an average of more than 40,000 inpatients, more than 667,000 outpatients and more than 125,000 patients in our four Emergency Departments. Our highly skilled team has a passion for excellence and is dedicated to providing a great patient experience for every patient every time.


About HSHS Illinois

HSHS Illinois’ mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS Illinois hospitals provide state-of-the-art health care to our patients and are dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable. HSHS Illinois includes St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, Holy Family Hospital in Greenville, St. Joseph’s Hospital Highland, St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville and St. John’s Hospital Springfield. St. John’s College is also part of HSHS Illinois. For more information, visit