SPRINGFIELD — In response to rising COVID-19 cases in the community, Baystate Health has instituted a fluid new visitor policy based on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s tiered guidelines for the health and safety of patients, caregivers, and visitors.
The tiers — also referred to as zones — are based on the number of COVID-positive patients in a city or town and how prevalent the virus is. Red zones are considered at the highest risk for COVID-19, followed in decreasing risk by yellow, green, and grey zones.
Baystate Medical Center and Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield, Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, and Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer are all in red zones at this time and will allow no patient visitors. Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield is in the green zone and will allow one visitor. The numbers will be reviewed weekly, and the visitor policy may change in accordance with risk levels and the prevalence of the virus. If in a zone that allows visitation, the hours continue to be daily from noon to 8 p.m.
Exceptions to the visitor policy at all hospitals include a parent or guardian for COVID-positive and COVID-negative children; a support person for labor, delivery, and duration of hospital stay; hospice, end-of-life care, or a life-changing diagnosis; and a support person for patients with disabilities.
Baystate Medical Practices and Baystate Health Centers are also following a tiered guideline based on the region’s risk level. Additionally, with the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in the community, Baystate Health is transitioning patient-care appointments to virtual visits (telehealth or video) whenever applicable.
In place of in-person visits, Baystate Health supports and encourages keeping connected — especially during the holidays when wanting to stay in touch with family and friends in the hospital — with the use of virtual visits through technology such as iPhones, iPads, and other devices.
For an up-to-date listing of visitor policies at all Baystate Health hospitals and outpatient sites throughout Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties, visit baystatehealth.org/covid19.