As COVID-19 cases decline in New York, limited visitation for patients will resume at UR Medicine hospitals beginning June 25.
The changes follow state Department of Health guidance from June 17, which allowed New York hospitals to scale back “zero visitation” policies that took effect in March as COVID-19 cases were climbing.
The UR Medicine visitor guidelines that go into effect this week enable some in-person visitation, but continue to limit the number of people on-site at health facilities to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
“It is very good news that we can welcome visitors back, while maintaining safeguards to help protect everyone from COVID-19,” said Michael Apostolakos, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals. “These new guidelines recognize the medical and emotional benefits of in-person visits to patients, as well as the need to maintain vigilance in preventing the spread of this illness.”
UR Medicine visitation follows state DOH safety recommendations, including limiting visit length and the total number of visitors allowed per patient.
For Strong Memorial Hospital:
- Hospital inpatients who do not have COVID-19 can have a total of two designated visitors age 18 or older throughout their stay. Patients designate their visitors upon admission
- Only one of these two can visit per day, for no more than four consecutive hours
- Visitors will receive COVID-19 screening and temperature checks upon arrival. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to visit.
- Visitors will receive surgical masks to wear during their visit, and instructed on hand hygiene protocols to protect their safety as well as patients’ and caregivers’.
- Visiting hours are between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- Visitors are not allowed in the Emergency Department; support people must wait in their vehicles or offsite while ED patients are being evaluated
- Exceptions will be made for obstetric, pediatric, cognitively impaired and cancer patients, as well as for patients at end of life.
Highland Hospital will allow one designated visitor per patient and its visiting hours will be noon- 8 p.m. daily. It maintains zero visitation in its Emergency Department as well. Visiting policies/hours vary among UR Medicine hospitals and will be posted on each hospital’s website as visitation begins. Patients and visitors also will receive detailed information on visiting guidelines and safety procedures at the hospital.
UR Medicine and Rochester Regional Health joined the Monroe County Department of Health in announcing the changes at a media briefing June 23.
“We appreciate the understanding of patients and families as we have adjusted our operating procedures to protect against the spread of COVID-19,” Apostolakos said. “We ask for their continued cooperation as we balance the need for safety and our goal to allow family and friends to visit patients in our hospitals.”