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Further restrictions on local hospital visitation

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Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Mike Mendoza has announced that Rochester Regional Health and UR Medicine hospitals have agreed not to allow in-person visitation until further notice, in Monroe County and across the region.

Last week, he said that area nursing homes and independent living facilities were required by federal guidelines to stop accepting visitors because elderly patients face the highest risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from exposure to novel coronavirus.

Mendoza said that both health systems recently began limiting visitation to one visitor per patient at a time, and zero hospital visitation aligns with his advice for institutions to do all they can to reduce the spread of infection.

“Patients in nursing homes and hospitals are most vulnerable to COVID-19, so we need to do all we can to prevent exposure to those patients along with the staff members who care for them,” Mendoza said. “These exceptionally difficult times require us to make decisions that are emotionally painful in order to protect the physical health of people we care about.”

Mendoza said the zero visitation policy takes effect now at Highland, Rochester General, Strong Memorial, and Unity hospitals. He said all hospitals are making limited exceptions for patients who are children, mothers giving birth, and extreme circumstances.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.