New York hospitals will permit people giving birth during the coronavirus pandemic to have partners present, despite a major hospital system previously instituting a ban on all visitors.
Last week, NewYork-Presbyterian, one of the country’s largest hospital systems, said that for the safety of its patients and health care workers, visitors would no longer be allowed in the hospital. That rule extended to partners of people giving birth, which meant women and other child-bearing individuals would have to go through labor alone. This caused some rightful anxiety among pregnant people who expected to give birth in the next few months at one of NewYork-Presbyterian’s 11 hospitals, and CNN reports that on Saturday, state officials overruled the ban.
“In no hospital in New York will a woman be forced to be alone when she gives birth,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday. “Not now, not ever.”
Earlier this month, the state’s Health Department issued a guidance recommending one “support person” be permitted to be present during labor, a guidance state officials shored up on Friday. NewYork-Presbyterian has agreed to abide by it.
Partners will not be allowed in if they exhibit any symptoms consistent with covid-19, including fevers, coughs, or shortness of breath. Hospital staff have been directed to take visitors’ temperature before letting them into the building.