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Coronavirus Visitor Policy

AS OF JUNE 19, 2021

At Catholic Health, we know that visits from family members and friends play a vital role in helping patients recover. However, in light of the public health challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have adopted new policies designed to balance the needs of patients while ensuring the safest possible conditions for anyone using our facilities.

For Upcoming Office-Based Appointments

  • If you have cold or flu-like symptoms (COVID-19 symptoms are fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches and/or diarrhea), please consult your doctor by phone before any upcoming appointments.
  • If you are symptom-free, your appointments will continue as planned.

Visitors Allowed Entrance

Visitors will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches and/or diarrhea) and will have a temperature check performed at entrance, and a log of their information will be kept. Visitors must wear a mask at all times. If they do not wear a mask, they will be denied entry. Hand Hygiene must be performed upon entrance and exit to the facility and the patient’s room.  Hospitals will provide written information and/ or discuss the potential risks and benefits of the visitor’s presence with the visitor and depending on the patient’s condition, the patient. 

Hospital will collect name and contact information for the visitors, dates of their visit and the name of patient visited, in an electronic format.

COVID Positive Patient

No visitors are allowed, unless in special circumstances such as Labor and Delivery, Pediatrics, End of Life, and Compassionate Care.

For Emergency Department Visitation

One – two visitors/support persons are permitted per patient, unless disallowed by the hospital according to the patient’s condition, circumstances, or hospital policy.

For Inpatient Visitors

Up to two visitors will be allowed to visit for up to four hours. Visitors will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches and/or diarrhea) Temperature checks will be conducted at entrance and a log of their information will be kept. Visitors must wear a mask at all times. If they do not wear a mask, they will be denied entry. Hand Hygiene must be performed upon entrance and exit to the facility and the patient’s room.

St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center Visiting Hours: 12:00pm-8:00pm

Good Samaritan Hospital Visiting Hours: 12:00pm-6:00pm 

St. Joseph Hospital Visiting Hours: 2:00-6:00pm

Mercy Hospital Visiting Hours: 2:00-6:00pm

  • 3K Unit: One visitor per patient, per day (for 30 mins) between 2 – 3:30 p.m. A max of 8 visitors will be allowed on the unit at one time in an effort to maintain social distance.
  • 3N Unit: Two visitors per patient, per day between 3 – 7 p.m.

St. Catherine of Siena Hospital Visiting Hours: 12:00-4:00pm

St. Charles Hospital Visiting Hours: 2:00-6:00pm

Upon discharge, visitors will be allowed to the unit to pick up patient and be educated by the staff.

End of Life situations

Two support persons may be designated to remain with patients in imminent end-of-life situations.

Ambulatory Surgery

Patients undergoing same day procedures may be accompanied to the facility by a companion and that companion may remain in the hospital designated waiting area until patient is discharged, unless disallowed by the hospital according to the patient’s condition, circumstances, or hospital policy.

Visitors may be present during pediatric and childbirth procedures and with patients with an intellectual, developmental, or other cognitive disabilities, or end of life situations and other  situations as authorized by the hospital, depending on the patients status and condition.

Upon discharge, visitors will be allowed to the unit to pick up the patient and be educated by the staff.

Skilled Nursing Facilities and Continuum of Care

Visitation will be allowed as per New York State Department of Health recommendations.
Catholic Health will allow visitation for patient support, which would include family members/significant others and/or legal representatives of patients in imminent End-of-Life situations.

For Labor and Delivery at Good Samaritan Hospital, Mercy Hospital, St. Catherine of Siena Hospital and St. Charles Hospital 

  • Two support persons essential to patient care throughout labor, delivery, and the immediate postpartum period until discharge are permitted. These persons can be the patient’s spouse, partner, sibling, doula, or another person they choose.  These individuals would be provided the appropriate PPE. 

The support persons will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches and/or diarrhea) and conduct a temperature check prior to entering the clinical area and every 12 hours thereafter for the remainder of the person’s presence at the bedside.

According to the guidance, when providing personal protective equipment to a support person, instructions on PPE conservation strategies should be provided to minimize unnecessary waste (i.e., prolonged wearing).

If a support person has confirmed or suspected COVID-19 or presents with or develops symptoms of COVID-19, the individual will be asked to leave the facility. In this situation, through informed decision-making the patient and family may choose to select a different support person to be present with the patient.

In addition for Labor and Delivery at St. Catherine of Siena Hospital

  • The FIRST support person is tested for COVID upon arrival (or in presurgical testing prior to scheduled induction or cesarean delivery).
  • The SECOND support person must show proof of vaccination (vaccination card showing two weeks have lapsed since second vaccine) or a negative COVID test (within 5 days).  After delivery, the second support person may not stay overnight on Mother-Baby but may visit each day between 12p-4p (hospital visiting hours). 
  • If the FIRST support person leaves the delivery room or Mother Baby unit at any time, they may not return until the hospital visiting hours 12p-4p. 

Pediatrics

Pediatric patients may have two designated support persons with them.

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 one support person to remain with them through their hospitalization. An additional visitor may also be with the patient during hospital designated visiting hours.

Outpatient Locations and Physician Practices

  • One person is allowed to accompany each patient to an appointment, unless an aide or assistant is required.
  • Any visitor who is coughing or shows other signs of illness will be asked to leave.
  • Our highest priority is the health and safety of our patients, employees, and everyone who visits our facilities. We are taking every precaution recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and are reviewing and updating our protocols and guidelines constantly. We need and appreciate your support in meeting these challenges.

Patients will also be wearing a mask while a visitor is present. If there is more than one patient in a room, the curtain can be pulled closed to prevent possible exposure to other patients.

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