NEW YORK - Nine hospitals in the city will allow visitors again under a pilot program announced Tuesday by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Under the two-week pilot, visitors will have to wear personal protective equipment and will be screened for potential coronavirus symptoms, including a temperature check.
Visiting time will also be limited.
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The New York City hospitals taking part in the pilot program include:
- Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn
- Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn
- Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx
- Montefiore - Henry and Lucy Moses in the Bronx
- Northwell - Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan
- New York Presbyterian - Lower Manhattan in Manhattan
- NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital in Manhattan
- Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan
- Mount Sinai Queens in Queens
"It is terrible to have someone in the hospital and that person is isolated, not being able to see their family and friends,” said Cuomo. “I understand the health reasons for that, we were afraid of the virus spread, but this is a pilot project to see if we can bring visitors in and do it safely."
The nine hospitals are among 16 statewide taking part in the program, which is being coordinated by the Greater New York Hospital Association and the Healthcare Association of New York State.
Visitors were barred from hospitals on March 18 in order to prevent spread of the illness.
But Mark Jarrett, Chief Quality Officer and Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Northwell Health, said the patient load has eased enough liberalize the visitation policy, albeit cautiously.
“We now fortunately have more non-COVID patients in the hospitals than COVID patients,” he said.The experience has been emotionally wrenching not just for families, whose loved ones suffered alone, but also for hospital staff, " said Jarrett. “Our staff, when patients were dying, were often the ones holding the hands of the patient. Not that they weren’t willing to do it. But patient after patient, it just becomes a tremendous strain on the staff."
The new policy will take effect by next Tuesday.