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Hospital expands visiting hours

Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake (Photo provided by Adirondack Health)

SARANAC LAKE — Adirondack Health has lifted some restrictions on hospital visitors, in keeping with updated guidance issued by the New York State Department of Health.

Starting Monday, inpatient visitors at Adirondack Medical Center are permitted between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., seven days a week, according to a news release.

However, visits are still limited to four hours per day, per patient, unless otherwise authorized by the hospital due to “exigent circumstance.”

This typically applies to minor, labor and delivery, or end-of-life patients, as well as those patients for whom a support person’s assistance is required to safely deliver care, such as patients with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Visitation is otherwise limited to one person at a time, per patient, with a total of two designated visitors, per patient stay.

“We recognize that separation from loved ones during hospitalization can cause significant stress and anxiety,” Dave Mader, Adirondack Health’s chief nursing officer, said.

“This expanded, but still modified, visitation policy is intended to ensure the health and well-being of our patients, staff, and visitors.”

All visitors are screened for symptoms and elevated temperature upon entry and required to wear facemasks and appropriate personal protective equipment the entire time they are inside the hospital.

Once inside, visitors must remain in the patient’s room throughout the visit, unless directed otherwise by hospital staff. Visitors must be at least 18 years of age, with exceptions allowed for end-of-life patients and other rare situations, at the discretion of the hospital.

“Limiting hospital visitation by policy is incredibly challenging, particularly at a community hospital like ours, because every patient’s situation and family dynamic is different,” added Mader.

“That said, our primary responsibility is to do everything we can to keep our community safe and healthy, while at the same time advocating for our patients. We believe our expanded visitation policy strikes that balance.”

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