Huntington Hospital is reopening to visitors effective immediately, though with firm guidelines in place.
Most patients will be able to have one visitor a day between the hours of 2-6 p.m. Patients receiving visitors have to be Covid-19 negative, as do all visitors.
The hospital first closed to visitors in March 2020 because of the Covid-19 epidemic. It reopened in May but shut down visitation again in November as Covid-19 cases surged again.
Cheryl Miranda, director of patient experience, said Monday visitors would have to be screened first over the phone. Visitors who have been in quarantine won’t be allowed until they have ended the quarantine.
All visitors will be screened again at the front desk for symptoms, with a temperature check. Anyone having a temperature over 100 degrees will be turned away. Masks will be required of everyone, she said and 18 years older or up. The hospital will not ask for vaccination cards, though, she said, it encourages people to get vaccinated, practice social distancing and wash hands.
The hospital will continue to allow virtual visits; People can call 631 547 6392 to arrange those visits.
The inability to have visitors has produced “Absolute suffering for patients and families,” she said. “We know that how important it is to have loved ones around us to heal.”
The new rules exclude surgical areas to continue to maintain safe pathways. Behavioral health patients will have other visiting hours.
Until Monday, visitors were allowed under only exceptional circumstances, such as to make end-of-life or other critical decisions or to assist a patient who could not make decisions on their own behalf. Relatives could also visit to help developmentally disabled patients, or to visit maternity patients.