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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – Marshall Medical Centers announced two changes to hospital policies Tuesday morning as more patients are being diagnosed with COVID-19.

The hospital’s visitation policy is moving to a double-tiered system – red and green.

During times of high COVID-19 transmission, such as the present time, the hospital will be setting the visitation at the red level.

Under red, all adult patients are limited to one visitor, and in the case of ICU patients, visitation may be restricted at the discretion of hospital staff.

Children in the ER and in general pediatric care are allowed two parents/guardians. Children elsewhere in the hospital (inpatient care, ICU, testing/surgery, behavioral health) are allowed one visitor.

In all cases, visitors must be at least 16 years old, wear a mask, practice social distancing, and sanitize hands frequently. Support people are considered visitors and must follow the policies.

Marshall Medical Centers encouraged video chatting when physical visits aren’t possible and said hospital staff will work with patients to make the video visits happen.

Beginning Wednesday, August 11, Marshall Medical Centers will be postponing elective outpatient surgeries as well.

Beds in the post-anesthesia care units will be converted to ICU beds to increase capacity at the hospital.

Surgical nurses are also being pulled from the surgical unit to provide patient care as well.

Marshall Medical Center said as of Tuesday, 31 inpatients between both hospitals had tested positive for COVID-19.

The policy changes at Marshall Medical Center come a day after Huntsville and Madison Hospitals announced a halt to elective inpatient surgeries and elective outpatient surgeries that require a hospital stay for recovery.

Across the Huntsville Hospital System, visitation has been restricted since Friday, August 6.