Patients at East End hospitals may once again receive visitors after three months of suspended visitation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced June 16 that hospitals could begin accepting visitors at their discretion, and here on eastern Long Island, hospital officials have just within the past week given the green light for visitation. In accordance with state guidelines, there are still some restrictions as hospitals work to keep the novel coronavirus numbers down.
Masks must also be worn when visiting patients and visitors are also subject to temperature and symptom checks.
“Stony Brook Southampton Hospital recognizes the positive health benefits an in-hospital visit from a loved one or friend can have on a patient’s recovery,” the hospital said in a statement, announcing its guidelines on Monday, June 29. Stony Brook Medicine facilities resume visitation again on June 24.
One visitor is allowed per patient at the Southampton hospital, per day, for up to three hours. Visitors are only accepted between 3 and 6 p.m. For those visiting a patient with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, visits will only last one hour, except in cases where there is an immediate end-of-life situation.
Different guidelines apply for patients under the age of 18 and to those in the labor and delivery department.
Visitors are not allowed in the Emergency Department, procedural areas or the recovery room. Patients undergoing procedures or tests may be accompanied by companion and the companion may stay until the intake process is complete and then rejoin the patient for discharge.
Visitors will also have to show legal proof of identification. Ultimately, it is the discretion of the hospital’s Patient Access Team, clinical staff and security, and administration who is admitted for visitation. If a visitor has traveled to a state-designated high-risk area in the past 14 days, he or she will be asked to leave and self-quarantine.
Each visitor will receive written risks and benefits for a visit when they check-in at the front security desk. They will also receive appropriate personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer.
Once a visitor arrives in the patient’s unit, they will have to check in with that department’s nursing station, and they must remain inside the patient’s room.
At Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, visiting hours resumed on June 22. Visitation is only allowed from 1 to 5 PM, and only one visitor is permitted at a patient’s bedside at a time and no visitor may stay longer than four hours. No one under the age of 18 will be allowed.
Visitors will have to wear a hospital-issued masks at all times, and they may be required to wear other personal protective gear depending on the department they are visiting. For a full list of the visitation guidelines, click here.
For Stony Brook Medicine’s full list of visitation policies, click here.