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Samaritan Medical Center to Pause Visitation and Support Persons Due to Recent Increase of COVID-19 Positive Cases in Local Region

Published on: August 20, 2021

WATERTOWN, NY – Samaritan Medical Center is compelled to pause inpatient visitation and support persons in outpatient settings (lab, imaging/radiology tests and more), all Clinics, the Emergency Department and Surgical Services because of the recent increase in positive cases and hospitalizations in the local region.  This takes effect Monday, August 23, 2021.  This is out of an abundance of caution to minimize additional people in our facilities to help keep patients and staff safe.

This is also in response to Jefferson County Public Health’s recent report that the COVID-19 virus is present at higher levels in the City of Watertown’s wastewater, which in an indication we can expect to see more positive cases in our region.   We will continually reevaluate the positive cases locally to determine when we can safely implement inpatient visitation and support person presence.

This pause in visitation does not impact our end-of-life patients, patients under the age of 18, nursery/neonatal intensive care unit patients or patients that require a support person due to an intellectual and/or developmental disability (I/DD) or a cognitive impairment, including dementia. These visitors need to continue to use the Rotunda entrance at the hospital.  This does not impact our obstetrics/maternity patients.  These patients need to continue to use the Car-Freshner Center for Women and Children entrance. 

To see all visitation policies and protocols, please visit our website. Please note, these protocols are likely to change as the pandemic shifts.  

Samaritan will continue to encourage our community to get the COVID-19 vaccine, maintain social distancing, practice proper face mask use and frequent hand washing.  Samaritan can report that 91% of our current COVID-19 inpatients have been unvaccinated.