New York-Presbyterian hospitals have banned pregnant women from having partners in the delivery room in an attempt to minimize the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The new visitor policies were posted on the hospital’s website Monday and went into effect that same day.
“At this time, no visitors including birthing partners and support persons are permitted for obstetric patients,” the hospital said.
“We understand that this will be difficult for our patients and their loved ones, but we believe that this is a necessary step to promote the safety of our new mothers and children.”
The new guidelines also ban all visitors for patients over the age 18. Only one visitor is allowed per pediatric patient, and that person must be a parent, guardian or family care partner.
“We encourage visitors to remain closely connected to their loved ones through virtual means, including Skype, FaceTime, and/or phone,” the hospital said.
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According to The New York Post, other hospitals in the city, such as NYU Langone Health and Mount Sinai, are allowing exceptions for women in labor.
The New York State Department of Health released a statement Wednesday advising all hospitals to suspend visitation effective immediately, with exceptions for family members or legal representatives of patients in immediate end-of-life situations.
The department said that any visitors meeting these expectations should be screened for COVID-19 symptoms — cough, shortness of breath, or fever.
New York currently has the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country with 15,168 as of Monday, according to the New York Times database.
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