Baystate Health makes changes for patient and staff safety due to COVID surge

Coronavirus Local Impact

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – COVID-19 cases continue to steadily rise in the state causing Baystate Health to change their visitor policies.

These changes are effective immediately, according to a news release from Baystate Health.

The new policy calls for patients to have limited visitors per day. Non-COVID and pediatric patients are now only allowed one visitor per day. OB patients are allowed one care partner, but no visitors are allowed post-delivery. Surgery patients won’t be allowed partners at check in, and no children under 18 are permitted to visit.

“While we are urging potential visitors to defer visitation until the cases of COVID-19 decline in the community, our caregivers understand it can be stressful when a loved one is hospitalized. If a child or other family members or friend is unable to visit it can be more difficult.” said Denise Schoen, Chief Patient Experience Officer at Baystate Health.

“It has actually been fairly horrible, its a lot of lines wherever you go they have the location where they have three to four hours waits… it would be nice to have a more direct way to get tests to the people that need it.” said Crystalstar Labato, Hampshire resident. In an effort to increase supply of the ongoing demand for COVID tests, Governor Baker secured a contract to have 26 million rapid tests delivered across the state over the next three months.

Visitors must also follow public health protocols by testing, but some residents have had a hard time accessing testing locally.

“The more accessible the better and definitely quantity, higher quantities would be beautiful.” Labato added. Visiting hours for Baystate are from noon to 8:00 PM.

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