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Updated Visitation Guidelines for St. Mary’s Healthcare is Now Available

Updated Visitor Restrictions Effective August 30, 2021
Effective immediately St. Mary’s Healthcare will be returning to a “No Visitor Policy.” Unless based on the exemptions of support person required at the bedside or end of life (see below).

Support Persons

Hospitals are required to permit a patient support person at the patient bedside for:

▪ Labor and delivery

For labor and delivery, the NYSDOH considers one support person essential to patient care throughout labor, delivery, and the immediate postpartum period, including recovery. This person can be the patient’s spouse, partner, sibling, doula, or another person they choose. This person can stay in all Article 28 settings with the patient and will be the only support person allowed to be present during the patient’s care. This restriction must be explained to the patient in plain terms, upon arrival or, ideally, prior to arriving at the hospital.

▪ Pediatric patients

For pediatric patients, the NYSDOH considers one support person at a time as essential to patient care in the emergency room or during hospitalization. For hospitalized pediatric patients, especially with prolonged hospitalizations, the patient or family/caregiver may designate two support people; but only one support person may be present at a time. This restriction must be explained to the patient’s family/caregivers in plain terms, upon arrival or, ideally, prior to arriving at the hospital. Hospital staff should ensure that the family/caregiver fully understands this restriction. Individuals age 70 years or older, are not encouraged to be support persons at this time due to increased risk of COVID-19 infection

▪ When Medically Necessary

Patients for whom a support person has been determined to be essential to the care of the patient (medically necessary) including patients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and patients with cognitive impairments including dementia. During this unprecedented time, a support person for the patients described above may be critical to avoid negative health outcomes unrelated to the COVID-19 public health emergency. For these hospitalized patients, especially with prolonged hospitalizations, the patient or family/caregiver may designate two support people; but only one support person may be present at a time. This support person can be the patient’s family, caregiver, or another person they choose. In these settings, the person will be the only support person allowed to be present during the patient’s care. This restriction must be explained to the patient and support person in plain terms, upon arrival or, ideally, prior to arriving at the hospital. Hospital staff should ensure that patients fully understand this restriction, allowing them to decide who they wish to identify as their support person. Individuals age 70 years or older are not encouraged to be support persons at this time due to increased risk of COVID-19 infection.

▪ End-Of-Life Situations

For patients in imminent end-of-life situations, up to two support persons/legal representatives may be at the bedside at one time. Visitors should be limited to immediate family only (parent, child, sibling). The NYSDOH defines imminent end-of-life situations as a patient who is actively dying, where death is anticipated within less than 24 hours. In the event the patient is a parent of a minor child, one adult family member and one child may be permitted at the patient bedside. This restriction must be explained to the patient and/or support person in plain terms, upon arrival or, ideally, prior to arriving at the hospital. Hospital staff should ensure that patients and/or support person fully understand this restriction. Individuals age 70 years or older are not encouraged to be support persons at this time due to increased risk of COVID-19 infection.

▪ Clergy

Clergy may visit patients at any time with the patient’s permission. They must be screened and cleared at the main entrance.

Additional Visitation Updates:
  • Office practices should have one person allowed per visit.