Latest change is prompted by new state Health Department guidelines
Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center today suspended all patient visitation. This action is consistent with guidance received from the state Department of Health for protecting and maintaining the health and safety of hospital patients and staff. The state guidelines also aim to prevent the introduction of the novel coronavirus into New York state hospitals.
Very limited exceptions may be made if the visit is medically necessary (e.g. the visitor is essential to the care of the patient), or if the visit involves family members or legal representatives of patients in imminent end-of-life situations. Visitors to memorial’s labor and delivery unit are limited to one visitor per maternity patient.
In addition, Memorial is not allowing children under age 14 to enter any of its facilities, including the hospital, primary care or other outpatient sites.
Memorial President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo indicated that, to protect the safety and health of the frail and vulnerable elderly, no visitors are allowed at the Schoellkopf Nursing Home that is located adjacent to the main hospital building.
“However, using modern-day technology and innovation such as Skype, we are assuring our nursing home residents regular contact with their loved ones,” Ruffolo said.
Ruffolo said that, to date, the COVID-19 outbreak has not negatively impacted the medical center’s ability to care for its patients.
“Our management team is reviewing on a daily basis the resources, both personnel and supplies, needed to provide patient care. We are closely monitoring the current and projected availability of those resources,” he said. “All decisions regarding services will be made with patient safety as our top priority.
“Equally importantly, we are taking all available precautionary measures such as conducting temperature screening for all people accessing hospital facilities and checking the temperatures of employees multiple times a day.”
Ruffolo noted that, despite Memorial’s one COVID-19 incident, patients should feel safe and comfortable coming to Niagara Falls Memorial for care.
Area residents who believe they have symptoms of the novel coronavirus should call their doctor or contact the New York State Health Department’s coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065 for guidance before visiting their local emergency department or urgent care center.