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Albany Med begins pilot program easing visitor restrictions


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany Medical Center began a pilot program along with 16 hospitals across the state on Thursday to ease visitor restrictions inside the hospital.

The hospital began strengthening its visitation guidelines March 11 in response to COVID-19.

One visitor over the age of 18 is allowed to visit a patient between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Visitors will be screened for temperatures and respiratory symptoms and issued a mask. Those visiting COVID-19 patients are required to wear personal protective equipment. including face shields, masks and gloves.

First-time mom, Sonya Gomes, describes the hospital as eerily quiet.

“I remember taking a video and sending it to my siblings and saying, ‘I cannot believe how quiet the hospital is. There’s no one in the hallways,'” Gomes said.

Gomes adopted a newborn, who spent about two months at Albany Medical Center’s NICU during the height of the pandemic.

“Leaving the world, walking into the NICU, I was so worried about his health and safety, and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t bringing anything into him,” Gomes said.

During her son’s stay, the single-parent was only allowed one other visitor inside that could not visit at the same time.

Gomes said restrictions made the reality of what was happening with the pandemic sink in.

Albany Med is the only hospital in the Capital Region a part of this pilot program.

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