Having a loved one in the hospital during the times of COVID has not been an easy thing for a family to go through. Early in the pandemic, if you were in the hospital, chances are you weren't getting any visitors, even family. But now, as COVID numbers in Iowa improve, hospitals are allowing more visitors back through their doors.

St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids has announced some changed in their visitor policy. KWWL reports that as of Monday, June 28th, visiting hours will be extended to 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. Patient rooms will still only be allowing two visitors per room, but now children ages 12 and over can visit. At the hospital's Behavioral Health units, 1W 3E will go with the hours listed above. Unit 2E will still only allow one visitor during limited hours.

St. Luke's Women's and Children's Health will allow patients to have one support person and two consistent visitors, according to KWWL. Those visitors must remain the same throughout the course of the stay. Siblings of any age can now visit and there are no restrictions on visiting hours. NICU and pediatric patients may only have two parents or guardians present, Siblings are still not allowed.

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As St. Luke's and other hospitals make adjustments to who can visit, many still wonder whether Iowa will achieve 'herd immunity.' That is achieved when a certain percentage of the population is immune against the virus through either infection, or by vaccination. Experts say that number lies somewhere between 70% and 90%. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that around 52% of Iowans eligible for COVID-19 vaccines are fully vaccinated.

Experts with Iowa Public Health say that at this point, some parts of the state will get to herd immunity, while others won't. That means that they'll be prepared for COVID-19 outbreaks when they happen.


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