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Yale New Haven Health restricting visitors due to rising community COVID-19 numbers

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

New Haven, CT (Dec. 29, 2021) – Due to the concern regarding increasing community spread of COVID-19, Yale New Haven Health has announced extremely limited visitor access to patients at the hospital and its outpatient facilities. We know in-person visits provide support and reassurance and we understand that visitation restrictions can be very unsettling to patients and family members alike but we need to ensure the safety of our staff and patients. The policy change will take effect on Thursday, December 30.

The new policy includes visitation to inpatients, Emergency Departments, outpatient surgeries and procedural areas. Those having procedures or operations will have to meet their loved ones outside to be picked up unless bedside instructions are absolutely necessary In addition, only one support person will be permitted in obstetrics and pediatric patients will be permitted one guardian at a time.

To prevent the spread of the disease and to protect the health and safety of patients and staff, effective immediately:

• There is no visitation to hospitalized patients due to the highly contagious nature of the omicron variant. Exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the patient’s clinical team and we will do our best to accommodate exceptions where possible. Our first priority is to protect the health of our patients, visitors and staff.

Exceptions for visitors (exceptions do not have to show proof of vaccination):

• ADA – any patient that needs a support person, per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, are allowed two assigned support people, these two support people cannot be at the bedside at the same time, however, support persons can be present 24 hours a day.

• Imminent End of Life – when a patient is imminently dying, two visitors can be at the beside. While the two visitors cannot swap or switch, they can be together at the bedside.

• We encourage visitors to remain closely connected to their loved ones through virtual means, including Skype, FaceTime and/or phone.

“In response to the increase in COVID-19 cases, we made the difficult decision to once again, implement a strict visitation policy,” said Thomas Balcezak, MD, chief clinical officer, Yale New Haven Health. “By taking these steps, we are making every effort to keep risk minimized and ensure the health and well-being of both staff and patients across our health system. The health and safety of our patients, families and staff members is our top priority. This visitation restriction will balance preventing the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 with the needs of our patients and their loved ones.”

Healthcare professionals from the Yale New Haven Health are available to answer specific questions seven days a week from 7 am - 7 pm. They can be reached at 833-ASK-YNHH (833-275-9644).

Yale New Haven Health includes Yale New Haven Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, Greenwich Hospital, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London and Westerly Hospital in Rhode Island.

Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS), the largest and most comprehensive healthcare system in Connecticut, is recognized for advanced clinical care, quality, service, cost effectiveness and commitment to improving the health status of the communities it serves. YNHHS includes five hospitals – Bridgeport, Greenwich, Lawrence + Memorial, Westerly and Yale New Haven hospitals, several specialty networks and Northeast Medical Group, a non-profit medical foundation with several hundred community-based and hospital-employed physicians. YNHHS is affiliated with Yale University and Yale Medicine, the clinical practice of the Yale School of Medicine and the largest academic multi-specialty practice in New England. Yale New Haven Hospital is the primary teaching hospital of Yale School of Medicine. www.ynhhs.org

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