With the number of daily active cases of COVID-19 still high, Mohawk Valley Health System has decided they need to make a shift in their visitation policies.

Officials with MVHS say these changes will go into effect on Monday, October 18th. While some changes are being made, the inpatient hospital unit visiting hours will remain the same. They are currently 11AM to 1PM and 4PM to 6PM, seven days a week.

The changes that will go into effect Monday are somewhat subtle, but are being made for good reason. Currently the system allows two visitors during the allotted visitation times, whether they go into the patient's room separately or together. One aspect of visitation by those two individuals that will be changed is you may no longer "switch out" one or both of those visitors to others. What that means is you will ONLY be allowed to have two of the same people during the duration of the visits. Pediatric patients will be allowed two support visitors with them at all times.

Another important change that is being made is that any patient in imminent end-of-life situations may have designated support people with them. Visitation policies have NOT been expanded for patients with COVID-19, except for special circumstances. All visitors in inpatient units must be 12-years-old or older.

In other, non-inpatient units, there are some changes as well. In the Emergency Department officials say they are limiting support people to one. That is due to the high volume of people coming into the ED and the need to social distance. For surgical visits patients are allowed to be brought to the procedure by a support person, but due to New York State Department of Health guidelines support persons are not allowed to escort patients to surgical areas. Those support people must wait in a designated waiting area, as long as there is enough room for social distancing. Some exceptions include for pediatric patients and patients with special needs, but also the following:

  • MVHS has granted exceptions from this policy for: Ultrasound for pregnant women – partner may accompany
  • OB Clinic – partner may accompany
  • Patients needing special assistance (frail, wheelchair) – support person may accompany.

All other visitor guidelines remain in place and can be found by visiting mvhealthsystem.org/visitation.

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