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UHS Updates Related to COVID-19

July 29, 2020 / Alain Jacon / General, News

Don’t Die of Doubt

As COVID-19 cases continue to increase and strain emergency departments nationwide, a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” suggests ER visits in April were down 42 percent compared to the same period last year. Yet, heart attacks and strokes haven’t stopped for COVID-19.

To combat this alarming trend, the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, and UHS took action and created a new public awareness campaign called, “Don’t Die of Doubt,” that urges people to call 9-1-1 and seek emergency medical care at the hospital if experiencing symptoms of a heart attack or a stroke.

The campaign emphasizes that the best chance to survive an acute event, like a heart attack or stroke, is to call 9-1-1 and take an ambulance to the hospital where they’re fully prepared to treat patients safely. Hospitals are still the safest place to be during a medical emergency.

Visitor policies updated at hospitals

UHS remains committed to ensuring the best care for our patients, while ensuring staff, patient and visitor safety during the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19.

New guidelines are in place and are consistent with the New York State Department of Health’s most recent guidance to hospitals regarding visitation. The guidelines are in effect for UHS Wilson Medical Center, UHS Binghamton General Hospital, UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital and UHS Delaware Valley Hospital. 

To access the guidelines as they are updated, visit UHS’ website,, and click on the “New Patient Visitor Information” banner. 

Visitation is beneficial to patients and their loved ones, but there is also an emphasis on minimizing risk. UHS appreciates everyone’s willingness to comply with the guidelines.

Restrictions still in effect at residential facilities

On July 10 the New York State Department of Health announced that limited visitation will soon be allowed to resume in nursing homes across the state.

UHS is working to outline a plan to allow visitors to our nursing homes that will maintain the safety and health of our residents, staff and visitors. We will implement this new policy and allow visitors once the plan is approved.

Until then, all current visitor restrictions remain in place for residential health care facilities, including UHS Senior Living at Ideal and UHS Senior Living at Chenango Memorial Hospital.

Masks required because they save lives

Wearing a mask is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, both national and UHS health experts say.

A mask, combined with social distancing and washing your hands, can curb transmission of the disease and save lives. Patients, visitors and staff entering any UHS facility are asked to wear a mask, for their own safety and that of other patients, guests and staff. Accommodations are offered to those who can’t wear a mask for medical reasons.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and New York State say that people should wear a mask when out in public. “We ask and expect those who come to our hospitals and medical offices to comply, in the best interests of those we serve and for the safety of our own teams of caregivers,” said John M. Carrigg, president and chief executive officer of UHS.

Mr. Carrigg noted that wearing a mask is a sign of respect for others and their health. “You wear a mask to protect others, and they wear masks to protect you,” he said. “It shows mutual caring and respect for the well-being of other people.”

By wearing a mask, you do your individual part to help protect the whole population, health experts say.

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