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Baystate Health Announces Changes in Visitation As COVID-19 Increases in the Community

November 22, 2021

Baystate Health is announcing some significant changes to its hospital visitation (also referred to now as care partner) guidelines as the number of cases of COVID-19 continue to increase in the area. 

Changes are effective, Wednesday, Dec. 8.

The health and safety of patients, families and staff members is our top priority. Our care partner visitation guidelines balance preventing the spread of COVID-19 with the needs of our 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 the CDC, DPH and state guidelines, but the policy details within the tiers change over time. All Baystate hospitals – Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer and Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield – have moved from the yellow to red tier, requiring changes to its guidelines.

Major Visitation Changes

Major red tier changes include:

  • 1 visitor per day (previously 1 visitor at a time) for patients who are not in the ICU.
  • 2 visitors per day for patients in the ICU (no change).
  • 1 parent or guardian at a time for pediatric patients (previously 2 parents or guardians at a time)  and 1 at a time for surgical pediatric patients.

In Labor and Delivery:

  • 1 designated care partner (previously 2) may be in the room during delivery.
  • 1 care partner may stay for duration of hospital stay and come and go throughout the day.
  • 1 additional care partner may visit after delivery following the general visitation guidelines with only 1 person at the bedside at any given time during visitation hours.
  • 1 care partner is allowed in the operating room during surgical delivery.

The new changes also reflect the fact that now no children under 18 are permitted to visit unless a designated exception applies.

Visiting hours remain from noon to 8 p.m.

Facemasks are Required

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.

Baystate Health regularly evaluates its visitation policy in accordance with the Governor, CDC, and DPH who are monitoring the constant evolution in our region which guides our updates. Visitation is at the discretion of Baystate Health. Baystate Health will continue to review the county data and CDC/DPH/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, see our Visitor Policy page.