JOPLIN, Mo. — A growing number of covid-19 cases is prompting Freeman Health System to change its visitor policy.

Effective seven a.m. Thursday morning, patients will only be allowed one visitor per day. Those visitors will also be required to go through a temperature check and confirm they are not experiencing symptoms consistent with coronavirus. Hospital leaders add the change isn’t permanent.

Paula Baker, Freeman President, said, “Have to take it one day at a time. And as we see these increases in cases in our area we just want to be very, very prudent. And when you do the math, you think ok, if everybody has three or four visitors, look at the amount of exposure.

There are some exceptions to the visitor limit, including the emergency department, end-of-life cases, maternity, pediatrics and the NICU.