HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – As the number of COVID-19 cases increases at an alarming rate across South Florida, Memorial Healthcare System has tightened its visitation policy.

Beginning Monday, July 26th, only fully vaccinated visitors are allowed during designated hours.

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“At this time, we are able to extend visitations to fully vaccinated visitors due to the effectiveness and availability of COVID-19 vaccines in the community. Memorial will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations, and will adjust its visitation policy to preserve the well-being of its patients, staff and physicians,” said Memorial Healthcare spokesperson Kerting Baldwin in a statement.

Memorial Healthcare System is caring for 341 patients who are COVID-19 positive, with more than 98 percent of these patients being unvaccinated.

“We remain grateful for our community’s patience and understanding during this time of uncertainty. We encourage everyone to follow CDC safety guidelines and get vaccinated,” said Baldwin in the statement.

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Broward County is experiencing a 10.9 percent COVID-19 positivity rate, according to the state’s health department. Statewide the positivity rate is about 15 percent.

The surge in COVID cases in Florida has forced several hospitals to severely restrict visitors.

At Broward Health hospitals, patients will only be allowed one designated visitor per day. Children will only be allowed to have their parents with them.

Jackson Health System has also instituted stricter visitor rules at its hospitals.

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The three hospital chains said most of the COVID patients are unvaccinated.

CBSMiami.com Team