Changes for visitors at local hospitals

Western New York

FILE – In this Monday, Jan. 29, 2018 file photo, beds are set up inside a mobile emergency room outside a hospital in Georgia. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

BUFFALO, N.Y .(WIVB) — Hospitals and other medical centers are feeling the impact of the coronavirus. Because of the pandemic, a number of local facilities have been forced to limit visitors, and implement extra screening for them.

Here are the changes they’re making:


Starting Wednesday at 5 a.m. ECMC says they will actively screen all employees, clinicians, patients, and visitors, including taking individual temperature.

Visiting hours for the General Unit will be from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and some areas of the hospital will have more restrictive hours, officials tell News 4.

ECMC recommends only one visitor per patient, except for “compassionate circumstances.”

“The caregivers at ECMC are nothing short of remarkable. We had very few of our ECMC Family call in today due to child-care issues. I could not be more proud of their commitment to our patients and this community,” CEO Thomas Quatroche Jr, PhD said.

Kaleida Health

The following policies do not apply to those seeking treatment:

  • Please do not visit if you are ill.
  • Please do not visit if you have traveled to a Level 2 or 3 country within the last 14 days.
  • Limit of one caregiver/visitor per patient, at bedside, at any time.
  • No visitors permitted at HighPointe on Michigan or DeGraff Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Facility per NYSDOH mandate.
  • No visitors under 14 years of age.
  • Wash your hands and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently, especially before and after entering a patient’s room.
  • If you are ill and seeking treatment, be sure to call yours doctor’s office, urgent care center or emergency department prior to arrival.
  • All who visit will be subject to health and temperature screenings.

Visiting hours are between 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Gift shops at all Kaleida facilities are closed.

Catholic Health

As of Wednesday, March 18:

  • All elective surgeries are being canceled unless deemed medically urgent by the patient’s medical provider.
  • All hospital visitation is being suspended except for patients receiving end-of-life care or who have had a change in their health status; and for fathers, spouses and life partners of maternity patients. Under these special circumstances, one visitor will be allowed per patient and all visitors will have to submit to a verbal health screening and temperature scan.
  • All associates throughout Catholic Health will have to submit to a verbal health screening and temperature scan before they can enter any Catholic Health building.
  • Where possible, associates may be asked to work from home.

“Catholic Health is taking these aggressive and prudent measures to limit the spread of Coronavirus in our community and ensure our health system stands ready to care for those who are sick and injured,” a spokesperson says.

Roswell Park

Roswell Park is taking precautions during the coronavirus pandemic, especially during a time when new cases are being confirmed in Erie County.

In order to create a safer environment, the cancer center is limiting visitors to one per patient at any time. This is in effect not only at the hospital, but the outpatient centers, satellite centers and community practice locations throughout western New York, as well.

Any visitors will be required to enter through a single entry point at the hospital’s main entrance, and go through a basic health screening.

The facilities team at Roswell is installing touchless activation devices on 110 doors in the hospital and Clinical Sciences Center.

Roswell is also closing its hospitality room and gift shop.

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center

To afford better protection for patients, staff and visitors against the coronavirus outbreak, the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center revised its visitation policy.

A spokesperson for the hospital says while viewed as temporary, the new policy will remain in effect until further notice but will have regular reviews. 

Changes will include:

  • Visiting hours on the medical units will now be from 12 noon to 6 p.m. daily
  • Patient visitation will be limited to immediate family members/significant others who have been authorized by the patient
  • No more than two visitors at a time will be allowed to visit a patient
  • Visitors under age 14 will not be permitted

The hospital also says it will not grant authorization to:

  • People who have visited Italy, South Korea, China, Japan, or Iran within 14 days
  • People who have experienced shortness of breath, fever, runny or stuffy nose, vomiting, diarrhea, or respiratory symptoms in the past three days
  • People who have been exposed to someone with influenza, respiratory virus, diarrhea, or coronavirus (COVID-19) within 14 days

All visitors will sign in at Memorial’s first-floor information desk and at the nurses’ station at the unit they visit.

Emergency Department visitors will sign in at the registration desk in the ER1 waiting room, according to a spokesperson.

“While we realize these changes may result in some inconvenience, it is incumbent upon us to utilize the utmost caution to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and to protect our patients, staff and the community,” said Memorial Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer JoAnn Pellegrino.

Behavioral health visiting hours will remain unchanged. 

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