|Berkshire Health Systems Institutes Visitor Protocols|
|04:28PM / Friday, March 13, 2020|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview Hospital, in Great Barrington, have announced changes to visitation policies in line with national trends and to further lower the risk of transmission of infectious disease, including the coronavirus COVID-19.
Hospitals and other health-care facilities across Massachusetts and the United States have enacted similar visitation restrictions.
"Berkshire Health Systems is committed to protecting the health and safety of our patients, visitors and staff, and this change helps us to enhance our ongoing efforts to minimize the potential transmission of COVID-19," said Dr. James Lederer, chief medical officer and chief quality officer for Berkshire Health Systems. "We recognize the importance of the support of family and loved ones to our patients during their stay at BMC or Fairview, but the novel coronavirus requires us to temporarily adjust our visiting policy in order to keep our patients and visitors safe from infection."
The changes go into effect at 8 a.m. on Sunday, March 15, and include:
No visitors under the age of 18
No visitors in the Emergency Department treatment areas, one visitor allowed in the waiting area per patient
No visitation for Medical/Surgical Units and Intensive Care
Mother Baby Unit: One adult birth partner per patient
Pediatric Unit: One parent per patient
Behavioral Health: One adult visitor per patient, with exceptions and screening based on the decision of the provider
End-of-Life Circumstances: Number of adult visitors based on specific circumstances
No one other than the approved visitor(s) can enter the building
No visitation if the visitor is experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms
The changes are temporary and visitation policies will be updated when the situation improves.
BMC and Fairview continue to use policies and procedures to address COVID-19, and all other infectious diseases, and is following guidelines from the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Massachusetts Department of Public Health, as well.
"We thank our community for understanding and adhering to these policies to help us keep our patients, visitors and staff safe during these unique times," said Lederer.
BHS continues to operate a toll-free hotline seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 1-855-262-5465 for questions and concerns surrounding COVID-19.