As Omicron was rearing its ugly head late last year, it created a spike in patients heading to area hospitals with COVID-19. That prompted both UnityPoint-St. Luke's and Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids temporarily halt elective, non-urgent medical procedures. Since then, cases have slowed down and spokespersons for both hospitals say these procedures can now resume.

According to CBS2, the decision has now been made to return to a normal operating schedule, including those non-urgent surgeries. Mercy Cedar Rapids public relations specialist Karen Vander Sanden stated,

We are pleased that elective surgeries have resumed. We’ll continue to monitor the number of people requiring hospitalization and may make periodic adjustments to elective procedures, as needed, to ensure the ability to provide care for all

UnityPoint Marketing Communications lead, Sara Corizzo said "masking and visitor restrictions are still in place". According to UnityPoint's website those restrictions state, in part, "limited visitor restrictions still apply and anyone entering the hospital will be required to wear a mask. Two visitors per patient will be allowed between the hours of 6 a.m. - 8 p.m., in most instances."

All visitors will be required to wear a mask and stay in the room of the patient they are visiting for the duration of their visit. Other UnityPoint visitor guidelines can be found here.

Similar masking restrictions are in place at Mercy, where visitors will only be allowed between 6 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Visitors must be "in good health" with no symptoms of respiratory infection, including fever, runny nose, cough, or shortness of breath. They also ask you to use sanitizer upon entering/exiting rooms. Specific departments may have additional guidelines and they can be found here.

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