ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — St. Peter’s Health Partners will allow limited visitation at its hospitals beginning on March 8. This is in line with other Capital Region hospitals, including Albany Medical Center and Ellis Hospital.

According to SPHP, a joint decision to allow limited visitation was made between the hospitals because of a decrease in the number of positive coronavirus cases in the region. Each hospital will have its own set of guidelines.

“The inability to visit a loved one during this COVID pandemic has been one of many, but one of the true tragedies of the situation,” said St. Peters Vice President of Patient Care Services Christopher Jordan.

Jordan hopes the new portals will also be an incentive for people who are delaying care or who need elective surgery.

In June of 2020, when Capital Region hospitals had similar protocols, the CDC said 41 percent of adults delayed or avoided medical care.

“We’re hoping that this is something that will encourage people to no longer delay. We do believe lifting of these restrictions will encourage that behavior as well,” Jordan said.

St. Peter’s Health Partners

The guidelines for SPHP may change at any time.

“Once we hit that two percent threshold or north if we’re going to do it again, it will be a discussion, it will be a dialogue amongst the health care leaders in the community,” Jordan said.

The guidelines also only apply to their hospitals and not their Continuing Care campuses.

Visitation Hours

  • Peter’s Hospital & Samaritan Hospital: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week for inpatients; 24/7 for patients in the emergency departments.
  • Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital: Visitation is by appointment only, between the hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling 518-382-4500.

Visitation Guidelines

  • Patients will be permitted one healthy visitor per day. At Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital, patients are permitted one unique visitor for their entire stay.
  • The visitor must be 18 years or older.
  • All approved visitors will be asked to show ID and screened upon entry to the facility and must pass screening to visit.
  • Visits will be limited to no more than 4 hours per day, per patient.
  • Appropriate placement and wearing of a face mask is required at all times while in the facilities.

Face Coverings and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Visitors must wear a face mask. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own face mask, preferably one with no logo or writing. If the visitor does not have a face mask or has a face mask with a logo or writing, the hospital will provide the visitor with a face mask at the entry screening station.
  • Visitors must perform meticulous hand hygiene while at the hospital.
  • Visitors for patients who are on enhanced droplet and contact precautions will be required to wear a face mask and PPE.
  • All visitors MUST remain in the patient’s room and keep on the required face mask and PPE for the duration of the visit.
  • When visitors leave, they must exit directly the way they entered.
  • Visitors are not permitted to use the restrooms in the patient rooms or on the patient floors. Visitors are permitted to use the restrooms in the main lobby areas of the hospitals.
  • Visitors who fail to agree to this guidance will be asked to leave the hospital.

Please Note: Separate Visitation Guidelines for the Following Circumstances

  • Children admitted to the hospital
  • Maternity units
  • Patients or residents receiving end-of-life care
  • Patients with special needs

Albany Medical Center

In line with New York State Department of Health guidelines, Albany Med will permit one visitor over 18 years of age to visit a patient between 10 a.m. and noon and between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. A different single visitor will be allowed during each visiting period.

All visitors must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Visitors will be screened upon entry for symptoms and fever and travel history.
  • Visitors must be wearing surgical masks. Visitors who arrive with cloth masks will be provided with surgical masks.
  • Visitors must remain in the patient’s room for the duration of their visit.
  • Visitors who fail to follow these guidelines will be asked to leave the hospital.