NY Department of Health Bans Hospital and Prison Visits in Red Zones

NY Department of Health Bans Hospital and Prison Visits in Red Zones

By Yehudit Garmaise

    As of last Sunday, the New York Department of Health reinstated the restrictions on visits to hospitals, nursing homes, and prisons in all the state’s red zones, as the state tries to reverse a slow but steady increase in the number of COVID infections.

  New York has seen nearly 37,000 new COVID-19 infections in October, which is double the infections the state saw in September. 

   Starting tomorrow, Maimonides Medical Center has disallowed visiting any patients, except for patients in pediatrics, obstetrics, and dementia wards.

    New York also is making exceptions for visits by necessary legal representatives, those who serve as essential companions to patients with intellectual or development disabilities, and those with cognitive impairments, such as dementia, “compassionate care” visits, such as visits at the end of patients’ lives or other potentially traumatic situations.

   Also banned for now in red zones are most visits to adult care facilities, pediatric skilled nursing facilities, state-run homes for individuals with disabilities, mental health and substance use treatment facilities and juvenile justice facilities.

        Four state prisons: Elmira Correctional Facility in the southern tier, Greene Correctional Facility in the capitol region, Cayuga Correctional Facility in central New York and Clinton Correctional Facility in northern New York, also report upticks in COVID-19 positivity as they report 600 new infections in the past four weeks. 

   When the pandemic began in March, New York had first restricted visits at nursing homes, and the ban was later lifted in July for any home that was COVID-free for 28 days, which was later reduced to 14 days

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