NYC-Run Hospitals Suspend Most Visits Amid COVID Surge

An entrance to Bellevue Hospital is seen in New York City. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

New York City’s public hospitals will ban most visitors amidst a city-wide coronavirus surge, NY1 reported.

The ban will go into effect on Wednesday, NYC Health + Hospitals announced on Tuesday night.

“To address the new threats posed to our patients and staff by the highly transmissible COVID-19 Omicron variant, NYC Health + Hospitals has temporarily suspended patient visitations system-wide with few exceptions,” hospital officials said in a statement. “The city’s public health system has kept its patients, staff and community members’ best interests at the forefront of all decisions made throughout the pandemic.”

Exceptions will be made when it is determined that a visit would “medically necessary and essential to the patient’s care,” such as for births, hospitalized infants and children, and patients in critical condition.

Visitors must provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within the past 24 hours.

Maimonides updated its visitation policy, with all visitors coming to inpatient locations required to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test administered at least 72 hours prior to their visit. They will be screened at the hospital for Covid symptoms. The policy does not apply to people accompanying patients to the emergency room, for procedures, to doctors’ offices, or to outpatient locations. Masks will be required at all times, and stay in the patient’s room.

The move comes as the Omicron variant speeds through New York City; the most recent seven-day positivity rate was 9.11%, and 63,500 people tested positive in a span of five days.

Updated Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at 12:55 pm .