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ECMC announces changes in visitation policy

The hospital said the change is due to historically high inpatient volumes, extended wait times in its emergency room, and an increasing COVID-19 inpatient census.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Erie County Medical Center updated its patient visitation guidelines Sunday afternoon. 

The hospital said it's due to historically high inpatient volumes, extended wait times in its emergency room, and an increasing COVID-19 inpatient cases. 

ECMC urges anyone experiencing mild symptoms to first consult with their primary care physician or visit an urgent care location.

ECMC will implement the following visitation policy, effective Monday. Outpatient elective surgeries, postponed in September, remain suspended until further notice.

UPDATED ECMC PATIENT VISITATION GUIDELINES

Inpatient Visitation

1. One designated inpatient visitor per day is permitted. The patient or their legal representative will determine the designated essential support person who can visit the hospital.

2. No Visitation Permitted for COVID-19 Inpatients, COVID-19 Patients Under Investigation or patients in quarantine with compassionate exceptions for end-of-life.

3. Visiting hours are from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

4. If a visitor cannot visit, they can contact their loved one over the phone or through a scheduled video call. The patient’s care team can help set up the video call.

5. All visitors are required to comply with ECMC’s screening checkpoint procedures and must wear a mask at all times while in the hospital. If they cannot comply with the screening measures, they cannot have an in-person visit in the hospital.

Critical Care Units

1. One designated inpatient visitor per day is permitted for the duration of a patient’s stay. The patient or their legal representative will determine the designated essential support person who can visit the hospital.

2. COVID-19 patient visitation remains prohibited for the safety of our patients and caregivers, with compassionate exceptions for end-of-life.

3. Visiting hours are from noon to 2 p.m., 5 to 6 p.m., and 8 to 9 p.m.

4. If you are not able to visit, you can contact your loved one over the phone or through a scheduled video call. The patient’s care team can help set up the video call.

5. All visitors are required to comply with ECMC’s screening checkpoint procedures and must be masked for the entire time they are in the hospital. If you cannot comply with the screening measures, you cannot have an in-person visit to the hospital. All visitors are required to wear a mask at all times and remain in the patient’s room during visitation.

KeyBank Trauma and Emergency Department

1. One support person is permitted per patient. The support person will be able to accompany a patient in the Emergency Department, and that person must remain in the patient’s treatment room for the entire visit.

2. At times we may need to restrict visitation to maintain an appropriate care environment for our patients.

3. All visitors must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and must be masked for the entire time they are in the hospital and ensure social distancing with proper hand hygiene.

4. If a patient is admitted to the hospital, their support person may accompany them to their room during inpatient visiting hours. If they are admitted outside of visiting hours, the support person must return during visiting hours.

5. Pediatric patients may have both parents as essential support persons.

Behavioral Health & Acute Substance Abuse Unit

Visitation in Behavioral Health is by appointment only.

Please call (716) 898-5293 Monday-Friday, between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to schedule a visitation appointment.

Surgery and Procedure Areas

1. For outpatient elective surgery cases, patients may be accompanied by a companion and that companion may remain in ECMC’s designated waiting area until the patient is discharged unless otherwise disallowed by ECMC according to the patient’s status, condition, circumstances, or hospital policy.

2. If a patient has a surgery that requires admission outside of visitation hours, the essential person will be welcome to return during visitation hours.

Outpatient Clinics and Services

1. If a Support Person is needed for a patient they can assist with check-in and provide a phone number to be called when a patient is discharged.

2. If deemed medically necessary, one support person may accompany the patient for the entire clinic visit.

Terrace View Long-Term Care Facility

1. Appointments for visitation are no longer required. You can come in to visit anytime during regular visiting hours: 8 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

2. Each visitor must complete the screening process upon arrival and information will be provided on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, use of PPE, masking, social distancing, hand hygiene, and general rules of visitation.

3. Visitors under the age of 18 are encouraged to call and make an appointment to visit, in advance, at (716) 551-7217.

General Visitation Guidelines:

Please do not visit if you are ill.

All visitors must be 18 years of age or older.

Visitors will be provided with a face mask upon entry to the facility and must wear the mask at all times while inside the facility.

Masks should only be removed to eat or drink.

If a visitor refuses to wear a mask, they will be asked to leave the facility.

Visitors should maintain recommended social distancing and regularly perform hand hygiene.

• Visitors should self-screen for contagious diseases before arriving at ECMC and before accessing patient care areas.

If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or have had symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 14 days, please do not visit the hospital.

All visitors are required to comply with our screening checkpoint procedures. If you are unable to comply, you will not be permitted an in-person visit in the hospital.

• Visitors will be asked screening questions and have their temperature taken upon arrival.

• Visitors must stay in the patient’s room, or designated area identified by staff unless directed by staff to leave the room.

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