ECMC suspends inpatient visitation with limited exceptions starting Friday amid Omicron spike


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Erie County Medical Center is suspending inpatient visitation beginning Friday as more patients test positive for the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

The medical center said in a Wednesday news release, all in-patient visitation is suspended except when medically necessary or for family members or legal representatives of patients in imminent end-of-life circumstances. The new rules begin on December 31.

Any visitor who is made an exception will need to wear a hospital-grade face mask, get screened for symptoms, or the potential exposure to someone with COVID-19. The time spent with the patient will be limited.

Those who aren’t allowed to visit their loved ones are advised by ECMC officials to talk over the phone or video chat through services like FaceTime.

Patients in the KeyBank Trauma and Emergency Department are allowed one “support person,” who’s allowed to accompany the patient and that person must remain in the patient’s treatment room for the entire visit.

ECMC said the change in policy is to ensure vulnerable patients and caregivers stay safe.

Here’s a look at the full guidance:

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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