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Berkshire Hospitals Revise Visitation Policies

A sign with directions for various departments of a hospital stands at a crossroads
Josh Landes
The main sign at Berkshire Medical Center's Pittsfield campus

Two Berkshire County hospitals in Massachusetts have released updated visitation policies as the COVID-19 outbreak continues. 

On Sunday, Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield and Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington adopted new visitation policies like banning all visitors under the age of 18, no visitors in the emergency department, intensive care unit, or surgical units, limited visitors in the waiting areas, and more.

Now, Berkshire Health Systems spokesman Michael Leary says new guidelines released Tuesday – in line with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s suggestion – call for all potential hospital visits to be deferred if possible until further notice.

“Hospitals are being required for all approved visitors to perform hand hygiene before visiting any patient, also must do social distancing of at least 6 feet from the patient," said Leary. "The visits are limited to no more than 15 minutes with some exceptions – the mother-baby unit being an obvious one during labor and with the birth partner.”

Hospitals will also screen all visitors for respiratory infection symptoms. Anyone with such an infection will be denied access.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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