COVID – 19 VISITATION
Updated: June 28, 2021
Author: Cindy Brown
Monday – Friday:
9am – 7pm (last entry at 6:45pm)
Saturday and Sunday:
8am – 2pm (last entry at 1:45pm)
Separation of patients and their loved ones during a hospitalization can cause significant stress and anxiety, and the opportunity to visit hospitalized patients must be done in a manner that continues to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the health and wellbeing of patients, staff, and visitors. In recognition of this need to ensure a safe environment of care for our patients, staff and community in general, hospital visitation will be:
The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) issued visitor limitation guidance to hospitals to protect and maintain the health and safety of both patients and staff during the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
All visitors must adhere to the following policies and practices:
- Visitors must wear face coverings at all times, regardless of visitor or patient vaccination status for influenza or COVID-19.
- Visitors may be provided with and asked to wear additional appropriate personal protective equipment, depending on the disease the patient has, as recommended by the Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and hospital policy.
- Visitors must be advised regarding how to perform appropriate and effective hand hygiene, how to wear PPE and must adhere to such procedures.
- Visitors who fail to wear a mask and other PPE will be asked to leave the facility.
- Visitors must undergo symptom and temperature checks upon entering the facility and shall be denied entry if they report significant COVID-19 exposure or symptoms during the prior 10 days or have a temperature equal to or greater than 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once in the facility, visitors must remain in the patient’s room throughout the visit except when directed by hospital staff to leave during aerosol-generating procedures or other procedures during which visitors are usually asked to leave.
- All visitors must be at least 12 years of age except in rare exceptions as determined by the hospital.
- The Garden Cafe and Garden Cafe Express is open to patients as well as their visitors or support person. It is not open to the general public.
- Provide written information to visitors and/or discuss the potential risks and benefits of the visitor’s presence with the visitor and, depending upon the patient’s condition, the patient.
- Ensure the ability to contact visitors as part of contact tracing, if necessary. The Department of Health strongly recommends that hospitals collect, in electronic format, the visitor’s name, contact information, date(s) of visit(s), and name of the patient(s) visited. If collected, this information must be maintained for a minimum of 4 weeks from the date the visitor was last in the facility.
- Monitor visitor compliance with wearing face coverings and PPE and must ask visitor who fail to comply to leave the facility.
In addition, hospitals will ensure that following allowances are made at a minimum:
Labor and Delivery
Two visitor/supports including a doula if requested, may accompany the patient throughout labor, delivery, and the postpartum period, including recovery, until discharge to home. The support persons can be the patient’s spouse, partner, sibling, parent, or other persons of their choice.
Pediatric patients may have two designated support persons with them at all times with additional visitors during visiting hours.
Patients with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (I/DD)
Patients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) and patients with cognitive impairments including dementia, may designate two support people to remain with them through their hospitalization. Additional visitors may also be with the patient during hospital-designated visiting hours.
End of life situations
For patients in imminent end-of-life situations, support/visitors will be allowed at all times.
Patients undergoing same-day procedures may be accompanied to the facility by a companion and that companion may remain in a hospital-designated waiting area if space permits or outside the building until the patient is ready to be discharged.
COVID-19 patients and PUI’s
Patients that are positive for COVID-19 and PUI’s (patients under investigation for COVID-19) will not be allowed visitors unless it is an end-of-life circumstance. Staff will instruct visitor on proper application of PPE (personal protection equipment) if it is an end-of-life visit.
Hospital staff must screen the support person for symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, or diarrhea) and conduct a temperature check prior to entering the clinical area and every twelve hours thereafter for the remainder of their presence at the bedside.
If a support person has confirmed or suspected COVID-19 or presents with or develops symptoms of COVID-19, they should be excluded from the facility. In this situation, through informed decision making the patient and family may choose to select a different support person. Signage will be placed at all hospital entries and parking lots to inform visitors of new COVID – 19 visitation restrictions. This policy will be posted, and made available.
Use alternate methods of communication for patients in the hospital as appropriate to individual patient ability and medical status (audio, visual). This may include use of electronic devices with video ability that are hospital owned, or patient owned devices. CDC recommendations for cleaning will occur after each patient use.
Any person with questions or concerns regarding the COVID – 19 visitation restriction policy will be referred to leadership.