WXXI AM News

Monroe County hospitals ease visitation restrictions starting next week

Feb 12, 2021

Hospitals in Monroe County will begin to allow limited visitation next week. 

University of Rochester Medical Center hospitals will open up to some visitors on Monday, followed by Rochester Regional hospitals on Tuesday. 

Patients receiving certain types of care can designate two people who may visit one at a time. However, those receiving end-of-life care can have up to two visitors at once.

Credit File photo

Dr. Michael Apostolakos, chief medical officer with URMC, said on Friday that he hopes this will be one of the last times visitations are so tightly restricted, but said it’s a balancing act.

“We’re trying to protect the patients and the staff from someone bringing in COVID,” Apostolakos said. “On the other hand, there is some non-COVID harm by not allowing people to come in and help nurture and care for their loved ones.”

There is still a no-visitation policy in effect for emergency department patients, COVID-19 patients, mental health inpatients and patients receiving chemotherapy.

Nursing home regulations also remain unchanged.

“That’s appropriate based on the vulnerability of that patient population and the significant amount of suffering that has been observed there,” said Dr. Robert Mayo, chief medical officer at Rochester Regional Health. 

However, if Monroe County continues to see fewer positive COVID-19 cases on average, Mayo said visitation restrictions could also keep easing.

“We hope that if this trend continues that in the next month or two we’ll have even more visitation,” said Mayo. "It’s yet to be seen, but it should be an encouraging spring for us all.”

Visitation hours and guidelines from both hospital systems are as follows:

Visiting hours

  • Rochester General Hospital: Daily from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Unity Hospital: Daily from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Clifton Springs Hospital: Daily from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Newark-Wayne Community Hospital: Monday – Friday from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • United Memorial Medical Center: Daily 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Visitation guidelines

  • Patients may designate two visitors throughout the patient’s stay.
  • Only ONE visitor is allowed at a time at the bedside for no more than four hours daily.
  • Visitors must be 19 years of age or older. 
  • No visitors will be permitted for:
    • ED patients
    • COVID-19 positive patients
    • Patients awaiting COVID-19 test results
    • Cancer infusion centers 
    • Inpatient behavioral health (chemical dependency and mental health)
  • In addition to a designated visitor, the following groups may designate a support person who is not restricted by visitation hours.
    • Pediatric patients: One support person may be present on-site at a time in the emergency room or during hospitalization. For 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.
    • Labor and delivery: May have one support person and a doula to be present at the bedside upon admission, throughout labor, delivery, and the postpartum period including recovery until discharge to home. 
    • Once delivery has occurred, an additional visitor may be designated by the patient and must comply with the visitor policy outlined above.
    • Patients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD), and cognitive impairments including dementia:One support person may be present on-site at a time in the emergency room or during hospitalization. The patient or family/caregiver may designate two support people, but only one support person may be present at a time.
    • End-of-life situations: The patient and/or family/caregiver may designate two visitors at a time at the bedside as long as social distancing is maintained. Minor age visitors must be accompanied by an adult. Clergy members visiting at end of life are counted as one of the two visitors at the bedside. End-of-life determinations are made in coordination with the patient, family/legal guardian, and treatment team. Visitation for end-of-life situations is not restricted by COVID-19 status or hours. All infection control guidelines and instructions must be followed.