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Visitors now allowed back in hospitals, one person at a time

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(WBNG) -- As New York adjusts its pandemic plans, Southern Tier hospitals have had to adjust their plans as well.

Staff at United Health Services and Our Lady of Lourdes' Memorial Hospital told 12 News Friday the two groups, with four hospitals in the region, have worked together to create visitor policies.

For the moment, visitation hours at the hospitals are from 3-7 p.m.; only one visitor per patient is allowed, with few exceptions. Previously, hospitals across New York removed visitation back in March when the coronavirus swept through the state.

For family members able to see their loved ones for the first time in months, it was an incredibly emotional moment.

"Really appreciate the ability to have time to visit her, because we haven't been apart in 42 years," said Harpursville resident Ron Quackenbush. "It was like the first time meeting her; I was just overwhelmed."

Administrative staff at Lourdes said these policies are the result of working with New York to come up with the best possible solution.

"The direction we had gotten from the state mandated the time frame, only four hours, so we had to follow those guidelines," said Karen Roeske, the chief nursing officer for the healthcare group. "We also had to follow guidelines in terms of educating the visitors on proper hand washing, proper wearing of the mask."

Josh Rosenblatt

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