New York State began allowing visitors to hospitals and group homes this week, though at area hospital restrictions remain in place as the facilities work to develop their safe visitation plans.
Noyes Memorial Hospital, Dansville, anticipates its plan being complete next week.
“We have received official guidance from the New York State Department of Health, and are moving as quickly as we can to implement and communicate expanded visitation options,” Tamara West, vice president of patient services and chief nursing officer for UR Medicine | Noyes Health, said in a statement.
“Department of Health guidance requires hospitals to implement rigorous screening and safety protocols, as well as strictly limit the number of visitors and the number of hours visitors may be on patient floors,” West said.
All hospitals also must submit implementation plans to the state Department of Health for review 48 hours prior to taking effect.
“We are working with our UR Medicine partners to develop a system-wide plan, with some variations due to differences in each hospital’s size and capacity,” said West.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced a relaxation of visitation restrictions that were put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since Tuesday, hospitals have been allowed at their discretion to accept visitors. Group homes certified by the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities are allowed visitation starting today.
All visitors will be required to wear masks, appropriate personal protective equipment and be subject to symptom and temperature checks.
Noyes Hospital hopes to have its new visitation policy in place by June 25 or 26.
“All of us at UR Medicine | Noyes Health are eager to allow patients to have visitors while in the hospital,” West said.
In the meantime, Noyes staff will continue to facilitate communication between patients and families using bedside tablets and smartphones, West said.
“We are grateful for the continued understanding of our patients and their loved ones, and thankful to our care teams for their efforts,” West said.
Until the plan is in place, visitor restrictions remain across UR Medicine hospitals. The facilities, including Noyes Hospital, currently have in place a zero-visitor policy, with some exceptions for pediatrics, obstetrics, palliative care and diminished capacity patients. Those visitors who are allowed at the bedside must follow strict guidelines.
For more details on Noyes Health restrictions, click here
United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia, part of Rochester Regional Health, is also working on a policy for visitation. Until the policy is complete and implemented, visitor restrictions remain in place.
The restrictions, which began March 16, limit visitation to one designated guardian for pediatric patients, one on-site visitor at a time for end-of-life patients, and one on-site visitor at a time for obstetrical patients.
Visitors and guardians for patients above must remain in the room for the entirety of their visit. Once they leave the room, they must leave the premises. Visitors and guardians must be symptom-free and must not have knowingly been exposed to an individual with COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
Visitors remain prohibited in state nursing homes after more than 8,000 deaths at more than 600 nursing home and adult-care facilities statewide following a controversial March 25 state Department of Health order directing nursing homes to readmit COVID-19-positive residents from hospitals. Officials have said nursing homes could not discriminate against admitting residents for a health condition.