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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Maintaining a Safe and Effective Care Environment

A safe and effective care environment is our highest priority, and Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) hospitals and medical practices have undertaken necessary steps to protect our patients and workforce as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation evolves.

Effective September 1, 2021, visitation to all inpatients is being restricted to two (2) designated support people, DSP, as designated by the patient or healthcare proxy, who may visit at the same time.  

Visitation hours will be 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. 
DSP’s will be required to provide;

  • proof of full vaccination for COVID-19, or
  • a negative COVID-19 molecular or PCR test collected within 5 days prior to the visit.  

People are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after they have received 

  • the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna), or
  • a single-dose vaccine (Janssen/Johnson & Johnson).  

For those presenting evidence of a negative test, only ‘molecular’ or ‘PCR’ tests will be accepted.  Antigen tests will not be accepted. 

Before receiving their visitor’s badge and gaining access to patient units, DSP’s must;

  • check in with the Welcome Desk upon entrance to provide proof of vaccination or testing, 
  • be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, and possible exposure and recent travel prior to visiting, including quarantine orders specific to New York State or CDC available via https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.

For patients presenting for immediate, emergency care, DSPs who accompany them will be permitted to be with them for a period of time without proof of vaccination or a negative test result.  All subsequent visits and prolonged-stay DSPs present more than one day after the acute event will require proof of vaccination or negative test result. 

In the event that an unexpected end-of-life visit occurs, the requirement for vaccinated status or negative test result will be waived, and appropriate masking shall be performed. 

DSP’s must be at least 12 years of age and if under 18, must be accompanied by an adult. 

DSP’s are asked to avoid congregating in waiting areas, lobby and cafeteria. 

DSP’s are required to wear facemasks, as well as any other personal protective equipment deemed necessary by the clinical team and should wash hands frequently. 

Once in the facility, DSP’s must limit travel within the hospital to only pathways directly to and from the patient’s room.  Visits to locations including the cafeteria and gift shop must be made prior to going to the patient’s room. 

DSP’s must remain in the patient’s room throughout the visit, except when directed to leave by hospital staff during procedures or circumstances for which DSP’s are usually asked to leave, or to use the restroom, and must be appropriately distanced from any other patients or staff. 

All hospital, state and federal guidelines regarding infection control practices must be followed. 
DSP’s who fail to follow these infection control protocols will be asked to leave the facility.

The following exceptions to visitation guidelines are allowed.  These exceptions apply to the number of visitors and hours of visitation.  Vaccination and/or testing requirements as described above remain in effect.

  • Patients in Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and patients in MidHudson Regional Hospital, age 22 or under are allowed up two (2) DSP’s together at any given time, 24 hours per day, and these individuals may be changed.
  • Labor and delivery patients are allowed two (2) DSP’s, including a doula if requested, 24 hours per day, throughout labor, delivery, and the postpartum period, including recovery, until discharge to home.  The DSP can be the patient’s spouse, partner, sibling, parent, or other persons of their choice. 
  • Adult patients with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities and patients with cognitive impairments including dementia, may have one (1) DSP with them 24 hours per day
  • Patients in imminent end-of-life situations may have two (2) DSP’s with them 24 hours a day.
  • Patients undergoing same day procedures may be accompanied to the facility by (1) DSP and that DSP may remain in a hospital designated waiting area until the patient is discharged. 
  • Patients with extenuating circumstances are allowed visitation on a case-by-case basis.  These requests should be directed to the patient’s care team.  Concerns can be directed to Patient Experience at 845.483.5565
  • Behavioral Health units have visitation guidelines which are provided to patients and families upon admission.

For patients using personal devices for communication with family and friends: All WMCHealth patients must adhere to policies regarding patient photography and recording or videotaping.  Any live video streaming between patients and family/friends require approval by the patient and WMCHealth, be time limited, should not include clinical procedures or staff and should not interfere with WMCHealth clinical treatment or operations. 

If you wish to make an appointment with us for vaccination or COVID-19 PCR testing, please call our COVID-19 Call Center at 914.202.4530.

View our complete COVID-19 response, including information on testing, visitation, donations and services.