HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - With more COVID patients in hospitals and the omicron variant spreading, some hospitals are changing their visitor policies.

At St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, several changes were made:

  • Patients can have one adult visitor per day.
  • Children and babies will be able to have both their parents.
  • COVID-19 patients cannot have visitors.

Masks continue to be required, and visitors still have to undergo temperature checks.

The changes came as more is learned about when omicron could become the dominant COVID variant in Connecticut.

"It’s going to come sooner rather than later. We see how fast it's moving in Europe," said Gov. Ned Lamont.

Cases of the omicron variant are expected to go up quickly in Connecticut.

Doctors believe that it could be the dominant variant by January.

Omicron currently accounts for a small percentage of total COVID cases in the state, but researchers are still worried about how quickly the strain has been spreading.

The variant has now been detected in at least 36 states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said early data suggested that omicron is doubling every two days, making it more transmissible than previous strains.

"A virus that spreads more quickly, even if it is milder in terms of lethality, will put tremendous strain on the healthcare system," said Dr. Perry Wilson, physician and clinical researcher, Yale School of Medicine.

With more COVID patients in hospitals and the omicron variant spreading, some hospitals are changing their visitor policies.

As of Thursday morning, doctors said they continue to research if omicron is milder than previous variants.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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