After months of limiting or prohibiting visitors to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital announced on Monday that it will allow hospital visits by family and friends for up to three hours a day.
Recognizing "the positive health benefits an in-hospital visit from a loved one or friend can have on a patient’s recovery," the hospital will have visiting hours from 3 to 6 p.m. daily, with strict rules in place.
Only one visitor will be allowed per patient, per day at the discretion of the hospital's patient access team, clinical staff and security, and administration. Visitors who have traveled to areas with higher infection rates that are subject to the New York State's 14-day quarantine requirements will not be allowed until their self-quarantine is complete.
Visitors will have their temperatures checked and will be screened for Covid-19. They "must practice hand hygiene, wash and sanitize hands," and those visiting Covid-19 patients must wear proper personal protective equipment -- including N95 masks, gowns, gloves, and eye protection -- which will be provided to them upon their arrival. All visitors will be required to wear masks and remain in the hospital room of the patient they are visiting. With a few exceptions, there will be no visits allowed in the emergency department, procedural areas, or recovery rooms. Those visiting with people who have confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19 will be allowed to stay for one hour, unless it is "an immediate end-of-life situation," the hospital said.
Only designated support people and doulas or midwifes will be allowed in the hospital's obstetrics department. The hospital is following Department of Health guidance where visits to maternity and pediatric patients are concerned and in cases where a patient has intellectual or developmental disabilities or cognitive impairments, or those in "immediate end-of-life situations."
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that all hospital visitors will be required to wear personal protective equpiment. In fact, only those visiting Covid-19 patients will be required to wear full P.P.E. provided by the hospital.