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Hospital Visitor Restrictions & Screening Policies

Updated: Sunday, February 12, 2023

Consistent with Rochester Regional Health practice throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, new updates have been provided in response to the current state of infections in our region. Please take a few moments to review our updated visitation policies that went into effect on Sunday, February 12, 2023.

Update on NYS Department of Health mask mandate

The New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) mask mandate in clinical care facilities has expired on Sunday, February 12. Although the NYS DOH mandate will end, state and federal regulations require health systems to develop a specific policy related to masking and infection prevention. The CDC presently recommends masking in healthcare settings in our region because of our persistent high transmission rates of COVID-19.

At this time, Rochester Regional Health will continue requiring all employees, patients, and visitors to wear masks in all clinical settings – hospitals, nursing homes, home health care and hospice, diagnostic and treatment centers, physician offices, and dental offices. There are ample masks available at our entrances and care units and will be provided upon request.

Visitor Screening

Hospital Visitation Hours:

  • Rochester General Hospital: 9 am – 1 pm, 4 pm – 8 pm
  • Unity Hospital: 9 am – 1 pm, 4 pm – 8 pm
  • Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic: 12 pm – 8 pm 
  • Newark-Wayne Community Hospital: 8 am – 8 pm
  • United Memorial Medical Center: 9 am – 7 pm  
  • Canton-Potsdam Hospital: 9 am – 1 pm, 4 pm – 8 pm
  • Gouverneur Hospital: 9 am – 1 pm, 4 pm – 8 pm
  • Massena Hospital: 9 am – 1 pm, 4 pm – 8 pm

Emergency Department Visitation:

  • Rochester General Hospital: No visitors
  • Unity Hospital: No visitors
  • Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic: One visitor per patient, no restriction on hours 
  • Newark-Wayne Community Hospital: One visitor per patient, no restriction on hours 
  • United Memorial Medical Center: One visitor per patient, no restriction on hours 
  • Canton-Potsdam Hospital: One visitor per patient, no restriction on hours 
  • Gouverneur Hospital: One visitor per patient, no restriction on hours 
  • Massena Hospital: One visitor per patient, no restriction on hours 

Hospital Visitation Policies

Each patient at a Rochester Regional Health hospital or ambulatory surgery center can have multiple visitors throughout the patient's stay, but no more than two (2) visitors at the bedside at a time. Please read below for specific visitation policies and our COVID-19 Visitor Screening and Restrictions document.

Ambulatory Surgery Center Visitation Policies

The Rochester Regional Health Ambulatory Surgery Centers currently allow two (2) visitors throughout the patient's stay. Only one (1) visitor is allowed at a time at the bedside.

A patient’s visitor will be able to accompany the patient during registration and in the pre-anesthesia and recovery areas. Due to limited capacity in the waiting rooms and in an effort to maintain social distance, the patient’s companion will be asked to wait in their car during the surgical procedure. The Ambulatory Surgery Center staff will call the visitor when it’s appropriate to visit the patient in recovery.

Outpatient Office Visitation Policies

Ambulatory patients may have one support person accompany them to provider appointments. Lipson Cancer Institute patients may have one on-site support person for new patient visits only. No other visitation is permitted.

No visitation is permitted for patients having ambulatory procedures with the following exceptions:

  • Patients having a procedure at an ambulatory surgery center (see above).
  • Patients with intellectual and/ or developmental disabilities, and cognitive impairments, including dementia or who have conditions protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, may have a support person who is medically necessary for their care.
  • Pediatric patients may have one support person.

Long Term Care Visitation Policies

General Visitation Guidelines

  • Visitation is allowed for all residents, at all times.
  • Although it is allowed at our facility per state guidance, Rochester Regional Health along with the NYS DOH advise against in-person visitation for residents on transmission-based precautions (TBP) or quarantine, or while outbreak testing is being conducted. We want our visitors and our residents to be safe. It’s important for all family and friends of our residents to be aware that visiting a resident on TBP or quarantine, or during outbreak testing, may carry an increased risk for transmission of COVID-19 for both you and our residents. If you choose to visit at these times, please be aware that you may be required to follow additional safety measures on top of our ongoing masking, social distancing, and hand hygiene requirements.
  • All visitors are encouraged to follow the core principles of infection prevention practices as outlined below, as directed by facility staff, and as posted throughout the facility.

Social Distancing

  • All visitors and residents should maintain a physical distance of 6 feet, regardless of vaccination status, and whenever possible.
  • During indoor visitation, visitors should limit movement around the facility, and go directly to the resident’s room or designated visitation area.
  • Both private and semi-private in-room visitations are allowed.
    • If a resident’s roommate is unvaccinated or immunocompromised (regardless of vaccination status), visits should not be conducted in the resident’s room.
    • If a visit cannot be conducted in the resident’s room, an alternate visitation area will be provided, when possible. If an alternate visitation area is not available, all visitors and residents must follow required infection prevention protocols while in the room. 

Masking and Hand Hygiene

  • All visitors and residents must wear a medical-grade mask that covers their nose and mouth throughout the duration of their visit, regardless of vaccination status. Cloth masks alone are no longer acceptable.
  • If visiting a resident currently on transmission-based precautions (TBP) or quarantine, additional personal protective equipment may be required during visitation.
  • Visitors must also follow proper hand hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Visitor Screening

  • Visitors are encouraged to self-monitor for COVID-19 signs and symptoms and follow all required infection control precautions.
  • Visitors are encouraged, but not required, to self-test for COVID-19 prior to entering the facility.
    • Testing is highly encouraged for visitors when: community transmission levels of COVID-19 are high; if the visitor is experiencing any COVID-19signs or symptoms; or if the visitor has recently had close contact with someone with COVID-19. 
    • Tests will be provided if needed, while supplies last.
  • Visitors will need to sign in upon arrival and sign out when they leave the facility. 
    • Each visitor will be required to provide their name, address, and phone number for documentation.

Visitors who fail to comply with any of these guidelines will be asked to leave the facility.

After visiting, please monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. If you experience symptoms, please contact the facility.

By visiting a resident within the facility, you may be putting the resident at risk if you have been exposed to COVID-19. Failure to adhere to social distancing and masking guidance in all public places, including the facility, increases the chance of exposure to COVID-19.

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