Baystate Health Announces Changes in Visitor Policy

SPRINGFIELD — Baystate Health is announcing some significant changes to its hospital visitor (also referred to as care partner) policy guidelines as the number of cases of COVID-19 continue to decrease at its hospitals and in the community. Changes are effective today, Nov. 9.

A care partner may be a relative, partner, friend, or anyone the patient chooses to have at their side during care. The number of care partners welcomed will depend on the area of the hospital and patient circumstances.

Red, yellow, green, and gray tiers (also called zones) still remain in effect for visitation based on CDC, DPH and state guidelines, but the policy details within the tiers change over time. Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer, and Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield are now in the yellow tier, requiring changes to its guidelines.

Major yellow tier changes include:

• one visitor at a time (previously only one visitor per day) for patients who are not in the ICU;

• two parents or guardians at a time for pediatric patients (previously one parent or guardian at a time) in the Emergency Department, surgery/procedures, and inpatient rooms;

• For OB patients, two designated care partners (previously only one) allowed in the room during delivery. For postpartum, both the designated one care partner and an additional care partner may now visit together at the bedside at any given time during visitation hours; and

• Children 5-18 years of age can visit, but must be accompanied by an adult. Children under age 5 can visit for designated exceptions only. However, no children under age 18 can visit patients in the Emergency Department.

Flower deliveries to patients are once again being accepted, with the exception of neutropenic or critical-care patients. Visiting hours remain from noon to 8 p.m.

All visitors must adhere to Baystate Health infection-control practices that are in effect throughout the health system: wearing facemasks at all times, whether in the patient’s room or other areas of the hospital, and frequent handwashing. Visitors with a fever, cough, or other COVID-19 symptoms will not be able to visit.

Visitation is at the discretion of Baystate Health, which will continue to review the county data and CDC, DPH, and state guidelines weekly to determine which tier each county will be in. To stay up to date and see exceptions for each tier, including obstetrics, visit baystatehealth.org/patients/visiting.