Baystate Health makes changes to visitor policy guidelines

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– Baystate Health has announced changes to their inpatient and outpatient visitor guidelines due to an increase of COVID-19 cases in the community.

In a news release sent to 22News on Wednesday, Baystate Health said they are moving to a fluid new visitor policy based on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s tiered guidelines for the health and safety of patients, caregivers, and visitors.

The tiers – also referred to as zones – are based on the number of COVID-19 positive patients in a city or town and how prevalent the virus is. Red zones are considered at the highest risk for COVID-19 followed by the decreasing risk which is yellow, green, and gray zones.

Baystate Medical Center/Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield, Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, and Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer at this time are in the “red zone” and will allow no patient visitors. Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield is in the “green zone” and will allow 1 visitor.

The numbers will be reviewed weekly and the visitor policy may change in accordance with risk levels and the prevalence of the virus.

Exceptions to the visitor policy at all hospitals, with numbers of persons depending upon what zone the hospital is in at the time, include:

  • Parent/guardian for COVID-19 positive and negative children
  • Support person for labor, delivery and duration of hospital stay
  • Hospice/end-of-life or for life-changing diagnosis
  • Support person for patients with disabilities.

If in a zone that allows visitation, the hours continue to be daily from Noon to 8 p.m.

Baystate Medical Practices and Baystate Health Centers are also following a tiered guideline based on the region’s risk level.

Additionally, with the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in the community, Baystate Health is transitioning patient care appointments to virtual visits (telehealth or video) whenever applicable. 

In place of in-person visits, Baystate Health supports and encourages keeping connected with patients virtually, utilizing technology such as iPhones, iPods, and other devices.

For an up-to-date listing of visitor policies at all Baystate Health hospitals and outpatient sites throughout Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties, visit BaystateHealth.org/COVID19.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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