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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Visitor Restrictions, Resources, and Updates

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St. James Hospital / Visitor Restrictions

COVID-19 Updates

Our primary goal at UR Medicine is to provide the best quality of care in an environment that is safe for everyone. To protect our patients, their loved ones and staff, we must manage their exposure to any illnesses that are easily spread.

We Are Currently Observing a No-Visitor Policy 

St. James Hospital is restricting inpatient visitation as of 4pm on Friday, October 16, in response to the growing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the greater Hornell area and Steuben County.
 
“We need to implement a no-visitor policy for the safety of our staff and other patients,” said Bryan O’Donovan, president and CEO.  “The exceptions are end-of-life situations, or for pediatric or special circumstances.” 
 
Steuben County Health Department reports continued significant increases in positive COVID cases throughout the greater Hornell area.
 
“We understand how important visitation is to patients,” said Bilal Ahmed, MD, chief medical officer.  “But with the resurgence of the virus, safety is and continues to be our number one priority.  We are working closely with the Department of Health and UR Medicine to monitor the situation and guide our actions, and we will re-evaluate the visitor restriction when it’s safe to do so.”
 
The new no-visitor restriction applies to St. James Hospital inpatient unit.  Visitor restrictions are still in place for patients coming to the emergency department, or for tests and procedures. 

Visitation exceptions can apply to the followng:

  • End of life patients 
  • Pediatric patients 
  • Or those with special circumstances 

 
Family members may call the hospital at (607) 247-2200 to discuss their relative’s specific situation.

Masking Requirements

As the number of COVID-19 cases increases in our community and region, UR Medicine, in collaboration with Rochester Regional Health, has implemented "universal masking" to help slow the spread of the virus. Learn more about the masking requirements.

  • All St. James staff, vendors or other visitors must wear a mask while in any common or shared areas of the hospital at 7329 Seneca Rd. and medical office building at 7309 Seneca Rd. This includes the lobby, hallway, patient unit, patient exam rooms, cafeteria, etc. 
  • Only patients who are COVID-19 positive or show symptoms of COVID-19 will be masked.

 

Safety Precautions for Outpatient Appointments: We've Got You Covered

St. James is pleased to announce that we are rescheduling imaging procedures, elective surgeries, PT visits, and specialty appointments!

Your safety is our #1 priority. Here are the steps we are taking to keep you safe during your visit:

  • We will call you in advance of your appointment to ask if you have any symptoms.
  • We are still limiting access in our buildings and screening everyone (staff and patients) at the entrance.
  • All doctors, nurses and staff in our clinics are wearing masks, and we’ll also provide a mask to you when you arrive if you don’t have one.
  • We also require all of our employees to screen themselves for symptoms daily before they come into work, and we’ll screen you for symptoms the day of your visit.
  • We are following meticulous infection control practices, including disinfection, wearing gloves, and hand washing.
  • We are limiting the number of visitors accompanying patients, and have rearranged and/or removed furniture in our waiting rooms to enforce strict social distancing practices. For added safety, you have a driver please have that person wait in the car.
  • We’re also being careful about who we ask to come for in-person appointments, and when possible are using telemedicine to reduce the number of patients coming to our practices at the same time.

Your provider might have some additional precautions, which the staff will discuss with you in advance.

We know that COVID-19 is likely to be in our community for many months. We don’t want you to delay your visits and possibly get sicker or have complications, so it’s much safer for you to receive the care you need now.

If you have any questions or concerns, call the provider office where your appointment is scheduled, or call our infection prevention manager at (607) 247-8106 (email Tracy Harvey).

Expanded Telehealth Services

In an effort to protect patients and staff from potential COVID-19 exposure, UR Medicine/St. James primary care, orthopaedics, podiatry, and specialty care offices are now offering telehealth appointments to some patients in lieu of in-person visits.

Patients of St. James primary care, orthopaedics, podiatry, and specialty care (oncology, general surgery, neurosurgery, cardiology, otolaryngology/ENT, urology) can interact with their provider via phone, computer, tablet, email, or video chat. Patient information is transmitted securely through the UR Medicine portal. Telehealth visits are covered by most insurances, and associated copays are being waived during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Providers in those outpatient offices are temporarily staggering their schedules to minimize exposure, while continuing to cover all acute patient needs and messages. Non-clinical staff are also working remotely as much as possible.

To Schedule an Appointment

Primary care:(607) 385-3700
Orthopaedics and podiatry: (607) 385-3740
Specialty care: (607) 385-3820

Some Preventive Care or Elective Appointments Rescheduled

As a precaution to address the anticipated rise in COVID-19 cases regionally, St. James Hospital/UR Medicine announced that it has begun to reschedule some patient appointments and redeploy resources to ensure treatment of acute care needs at its hospital, clinics, and physician offices, to at least May 1. 

Physician and clinic offices will contact some patients to reschedule appointments and surgeries, or to offer alternative care such as a telephone consult. The changes will help to reduce infection risk through social distancing, while freeing up capacity and resources to care for patients who are acutely ill.

Reducing the volume of office appointments and elective procedures will enable St. James Hospital to continue providing necessary care with in the event staff members who are unable to work because schools and child-care facilities are closed, who are redeployed to care for other patients, and who may need to be quarantined for potential exposure to novel coronavirus. O’Donovan emphasized that St. James Hospital/UR Medicine has no plans to close the hospital, physician offices, or clinics.

To maintain safety, St. James will also continue to mask all patients who present at the hospital with respiratory symptoms, and follow isolation protocols.

The Department of Health advises that you stay home if you are not feeling well and experiencing minor symptoms, such as:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Body aches
  • Shortness of breath

Should the condition worsen please call your primary care provider or the Steuben County Public Health Office at 1-800-724-0471. St. James is working with Steuben County Public Health to determine when testing should be conducted on patients presenting with COVID-19 symptoms.