SPRINGFIELD — Baystate Health is announcing major changes to its hospital visitation (also referred to as care partner) guidelines, including extending its visiting hours at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer, and Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield.
Effective immediately, two care partners (visitors) at a time are now allowed for non-COVID-19 patients (previously one). There are no changes to inpatient obstetrics or pediatrics. See the full visitor/care policy at baystatehealth.org/patients/visiting. Visiting hours are also being extended to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
In another major change that at this time only applies to Baystate Medical Center, two care partners (visitors) at a time will now be allowed for COVID-positive patients (previously no visitors). Baystate Wing Hospital, Baystate Franklin Medical Center, and Baystate Noble Hospital are making preparations to allow visitors for COVID-positive patients as soon as possible.
The health and safety of patients, families, and staff members is Baystate’s top priority. Care-partner visitation guidelines balance preventing the spread of COVID with the needs of patients and their loved ones. 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Public Health (DPH), and state guidelines, but the policy details within the tiers change over time. All Baystate hospitals remain in the yellow tier.
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 symptoms will not be able to visit.
Baystate Health regularly evaluates its visitation policy in accordance with the governor, CDC, and DPH. Visitation is at the discretion of Baystate Health. 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 all exceptions for visitation and each tier, including obstetrics, visit baystatehealth.org/patients/visiting.