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Samaritan to Allow Limited Hospital Visitation and Emergency Department Support Persons

Published on: March 12, 2021

Watertown, NY – Samaritan Medical Center will re-open limited hospital inpatient visitation starting Monday, March 15, 2021 and Emergency Department (ED) support persons starting Wednesday, March 17, 2021. Both were paused in late October 2020 when COVID-19 infection rates increased and a surge of cases impacted our region.

Samaritan is pleased to welcome back these visitors and support persons, who are important to the care and recovery of our patients. However, some restrictions will apply to limit the number of people in our facilities on any given day.

Please click here to see complete visitation guidelines.

Inpatient visitors will be allowed to visit based on the updated guidelines outlined below. Our inpatients will make the determination who can visit them during their inpatient stay since they are limited to one visitor per day. At entry, all visitors will be asked questions about travel and exposure to COVID-19. They will also have their temperature taken and will be expected to sanitize their hands and properly wear a face mask at all times.

Hospital Inpatients:

  • One (1) designated visitor per day per patient is permitted. Exceptions may be made for end-of-life visitation and must be arranged with the nursing supervisor.
  • NO visitation is permitted for COVID-19 inpatients, COVID-19 Patients Under Investigation (PUI) or patients in quarantine. Exceptions may be made for end-of-life visitation and must be arranged with the nursing supervisor.
  • Visiting hours are from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day.

Emergency Department Patients (beginning 3/17/2021):

  • Only one (1) support person will be able to accompany a patient in the Emergency Department.
    • The support person will be asked to wait in the car if a COVID test is performed during intake in the Emergency Department.
  • Support person must remain in the patient’s treatment room for the entire visit.
  • Support person must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Support person must wear a mask at all times, practice social distancing and proper hand hygiene.
  • If an Emergency Department patient is admitted to the hospital, their support person may accompany them to their room if the transfer occurs during inpatient visiting hours (2:00 – 6:00 p.m.). If they are admitted outside of visiting hours, the support person must return during visiting hours.
  • Patients with a Left Ventricular Assistive Device (LVAD) will be allowed to have a support person with them immediately upon arrival.

Any patient, no matter the hospital location or service, with an intellectual and/or developmental disability (I/DD), or any patient with a cognitive impairment such as dementia, may designate two (2) support persons to participate in their care; however, only one (1) support person at a time will be allowed at the bedside.

Overall, there are General Visitation Guidelines that apply to all visitors that enter the Medical Center:

  • All visitors must be 18 years of age or older.
  • All visitors must enter and exit through the Rotunda entrance (circular building between the Medical Center and Keep Home), except for obstetrics visitors, who need to use the Car-Freshner Center for Women and Children entrance.
  • Visitors will be asked to visibly wear the visitor ID name tag provided at entry.
  • Visitors will be provided with a face mask upon entry to the facility and must wear the mask at all times while inside the facility. If a visitor refuses to wear a mask, they will be asked to leave the facility.
  • Visitors should wash their hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before and after entering a patient’s room.
  • Visitors must stay in the patient’s room, or designated area identified by staff, unless directed by staff to leave the room during a procedure.
    • Visitors may not roam hallways, enter the cafeteria or any other location.
    • Visitors cannot accompany patients to tests outside of their room.
  • All visitors should do their best to stay at least six (6) feet away from others while in the facility.
  • Visitors should self-screen for contagious diseases before arriving and before accessing patient care areas.
    • Please do not visit if you are ill.
    • If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 14 days, please do not visit the hospital.
  • All visitors are required to comply with our screening checkpoint procedures. If you are unable to comply, you will not be permitted an in-person visit in the hospital.

If you cannot visit for any reason, you may contact your loved one over the phone or through a scheduled video call. The patient’s care team can help set up the video call if the patient needs help.

We encourage all patients to continue calling our Resource Line if they have questions or concerns about COVID-19 or think they may have symptoms. Please call 315-755-3100.

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