MANHASSET, N.Y. — Welcome news for some family members desperate to visit their loved ones in the hospital.
During his daily COVID-19 briefing Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a pilot program to start to bring back visitations. Sixteen health care facilities around the state will take part in a two week 'Hospital Visitation Pilot.' Roswell Park in Buffalo is the only facility in WNY taking part.
Dr. Candace Johnson, President and CEO of Roswell Park, was encouraged by today's announcement as a first step for families and happy for the institute to take part in this project. “We welcome and applaud the pilot hospital visitation program announced by Governor Cuomo today, and are pleased to help lead this important effort. Meaningful contact and connection with loved ones can be enormously important for cancer patients and can even help support their recovery, so we welcome the opportunity to be a resource to New York State and hospitals everywhere as we develop best practices on how to safely reintegrate some of the comforts and supports our patients were able to take advantage of before the COVID crisis.
Cuomo's daily update also noted that hospitalizations, intubations and new coronavirus cases continue to trend down, saying, "..we are basically back to where we started". However, he said 106 New Yorkers succumbed to the virus on Monday, bringing the total number of lives lost to 22, 834.
Also, the state continues to investigate over 100 cases of Kawaski-like disease in children that may be linked to exposure to the coronavirus.
Cuomo also addressed the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. He said the state will allow ceremonies of ten participants or less but will leave it up to local governments to decide if they can happen at all. For those that do take place, the governor says he hopes that can be broadcast or shared so others can see it. He said vehicle parades should be allowed and are encouraged adding it's important that the state's veterans be recognized.
As he did Monday in Buffalo, the governor said he encourages sports teams and leagues to play games without fans. He acknowledged some sports can make it work easier than others; but added New York is willing to be a full partner in any way to assist.