While COVID-19 is still present in the Rochester region, the number of cases has declined here and across New York state. Because of this decline and following guidance from the state Department of Health, UR Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Institute will now allow for limited visitation for inpatients – those who are admitted to and staying overnight at the hospital.
Research shows that cancer patients are more vulnerable to complications from COVID-19, which is why it has been vital for Wilmot to put a number of measures in place to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors and employees.
Any visitors who are coming to the hospital to visit an inpatient must:
- Cooperate with screeners in the Strong, Wilmot and hospital unit lobbies before entering a unit.
- Nursing staff will ask visitors questions about potential COVID-19 symptoms. They will also take visitors’ temperatures and will give visitors a time-stamped visitor badge.
- Wear appropriate hospital-issued personal protective equipment (PPE), such as a mask, while in the hospital.
- Remain in the patient’s room during the visit, except to use the restroom; please use the restroom outside the unit, not the one in the patient’s room.
- Abide by the time duration for the visit, leaving once reminded by staff. Refusals may be escalated to unit leadership.
- On WCC5 and WCC7, visitors are permitted for one four-hour block per day, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- On WCC6, visitors are also permitted for one four-hour block per day, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 4 to 8 p.m.
Upon admission, patients must identify one visitor they would like to have during their stay. Patients must wear a mask at all times while the visitor is in the room. Unit staff will work with Environmental Services to ensure high-touch surfaces in rooms are cleaned after a visitor leaves.
Wilmot oncology teams will continue to help all patients stay in touch with loved ones using technology. Patients are encouraged to ask teams for help if they need it and/or if they don’t have a device of their own to use.
For outpatients – those who are coming for an appointment or treatment and who will only be in the building for part of the day – the no-visitors policy remains in place with very limited exceptions.
Wilmot is working to determine how the outpatient visitor policy can be safely modified, but at this time, Wilmot waiting rooms are not large enough to accommodate both patients and visitors while still maintaining the 6-foot distance that New York state requires. If patients or families have questions, they are asked to talk with their oncology team, who can provide advice specific to the patient’s situation.