Women who give birth at NewYork-Presbyterian’s hospitals will have to do so alone to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus, The Post has learned.
Hospital officials made the “incredibly difficult decision” to ban the partners of expectant moms from labor and delivery rooms, a source said staffers were told during a video briefing on Sunday morning.
“We don’t take this lightly,” Dr. Laura Forese, the hospital system’s executive vice president and COO, said during the briefing.
“This is a significant step. We understand just how difficult this will be.”
Dr. Dena Goffman, chief of obstetrics at NewYork-Presbyterian’s Columbia University Medical Center campus in Upper Manhattan, said officials fear that the coronavirus is so widespread that any visitor could be infected but not yet showing symptoms — and therefore pose a risk to mothers, newborns and medical personnel, according to the source.
Women who are admitted to labor and delivery units will be tested for the disease, regardless of symptoms, and will also have to wear face masks, the source said.
On Wednesday, the state Department of Health advised hospitals to suspend all visitation, effective immediately, “except when medically necessary (i.e. visitor is essential to the care of the patient) or for family members or legal representatives of patients in imminent end-of-life situations.”
NewYork-Presbyterian, NYU Langone Health, Mount Sinai, Northwell Health and city’s Health and Hospitals Corp. all adopted policies with exceptions that allowed visitors for women in labor.