HCN News & Notes

Baystate Health Announces Further Changes to Visitor Policy

SPRINGFIELD — Baystate Health, which opened its inpatient units and emergency departments to visitation at all Baystate hospitals on May 3, announced it has extended visitation to include all of its Baystate Medical Practices and outpatient services such as imaging, radiology, and laboratory.

All Baystate Medical Practices and outpatient services throughout the health system now allow for one visitor to accompany each patient.

“For example, that means a support person may now accompany pregnant patients to their ultrasound appointment to learn about their baby together,” said Nancy Rines, director of Women’s Services and Baystate Children’s Hospital.

The changes reflect a decrease in COVID-19 cases in the community and the increasing number of people who are now vaccinated against the virus.

Threat tiers (also called zones) still remain for visitation based on the CDC, DPH, and state guidelines, but the policy details within the tiers will change. The tiers are based on the number of COVID-19 positive patients in a city or town and how prevalent the virus is.

All Baystate hospitals, Baystate Medical Practices, and outpatient services are now in the green (moderate-risk) tier, including Baystate Medical Center and Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield, Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, and Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer. As previously announced on May 3, they allow for one visitor at a time for patients who are not in the ICU, two visitors at a time for patients in the ICU, and two parents or guardians at a time for pediatric patients. Hospital visiting hours are from noon to 8 p.m.

All visitors must adhere to Baystate Health infection-control practices in effect throughout the health system, including wearing facemasks, frequent handwashing, maintaining physical distance of six feet when possible, and no shared food sources.

Baystate Health 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, visit baystatehealth.org/patients/visiting.