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ECMC suspending inpatient visitation due to increasing omicron variant cases

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Posted at 4:20 PM, Dec 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 16:20:41-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — ECMC announced updated patient visitation guidelines Wednesday which includes suspending inpatient visitation except when medically necessary or for end-of-life circumstances.

According to ECMC, the change is due to "an increasing inpatient census caused by the Omicron COVID variant."

The change in patient visitation guidelines begins December 31 and ECMC says is an effort to protect the medical center's vulnerable patients and caregivers from avoidable exposure to infection.

In addition to the updated patient visitation guidelines which can be found below, ECMC released the following information:

  • Any visitors meeting exceptions mentioned above will be required to wear a hospital grade face mask and be screened for symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or fever) or potential exposure to someone with COVID-19. The duration and number of visits will be minimized.
  • Patients and their families and loved ones have been advised to communicate via telephone and when possible via features like FaceTime. ECMC will assist patients with technology who do not have personal devices.

Inpatient Visitation
1. Until further notice, inpatient visitation is suspended, except when medically necessary, or for family members or legal representatives of patients in imminent end-of-life situations.
2. Patients can be contacted over the phone or through a scheduled video call. The patient’s care team can help set up the video call.
3. If permitted, visitors are required to comply with ECMC’s screening checkpoint procedures and must wear a mask at all times while in the hospital. If they cannot comply with the screening measures, they cannot have an in-person visit in the hospital.

Critical Care Units
1. Patient visitation is prohibited for the safety of our patients and caregivers, except when medically necessary, or for family members or legal representatives of patients in imminent end-of-life situations.
2. Patients can be contacted over the phone or through a scheduled video call. The patient’s care team can help set up the video call.
3.Visitors, if permitted, are required to comply with ECMC’s screening checkpoint procedures and must be masked for the entire time they are in the hospital. If you cannot comply with the screening measures, you cannot have an in-person visit in the hospital.

KeyBank Trauma and Emergency Department
1. One support person is permitted per patient. The support person will be able to accompany a patient in the Emergency Department, and that person must remain in the patient’s treatment room for the entire visit.
2. At times we may need to restrict visitation to maintain an appropriate care environment for our patients.
3.COVID-19 patient visitation remains prohibited for the safety of our patients and caregivers, with compassionate exceptions for end of life.
4.The patient’s support person must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and must be masked for the entire time they are in the hospital and ensure social distancing with proper hand hygiene.
5. If a patient is admitted to the hospital, they can be contacted over the phone or through a scheduled video call. The patient’s care team can help set up the video call.
6. Pediatric patients may have both parents as essential support persons.

Behavioral Health & Acute Substance Abuse Unit
1. Until further notice, inpatient visitation is suspended.
2. Patients can be contacted over the phone.
3. Patient care team will reach out for treatment planning purposes as necessary.

Surgery and Procedure Areas
1. Complying with NYS Department of Health guidance, inpatient and outpatient elective surgeries are suspended until further notice.

Outpatient Clinics and Services
1. If a Support Person is needed for a patient they can assist with check-in and provide a phone number to be called when patient is discharged.
2. If deemed medically necessary, one support person may accompany the patient for the entire clinic visit.

Terrace View Long-Term Care Facility
1. Appointments for visitation are no longer required. You can come in to visit anytime during updated visiting hours: 1:00 PM until 7:00 PM
2. Each visitor must complete the screening process upon arrival and information will be provided on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, use of PPE, masking, social distancing, hand hygiene, and general rules of visitation.
3.Visitors under the age of 18 are encouraged to call and make an appointment to visit, in advance, at (716) 551-7217