New York state overrules a hospital policy saying mothers must give birth without their partners

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo responds to President Donald Trump considering a short-term quarantine of coronavirus "hot spots," including New York.

Posted: Mar 29, 2020 10:08 AM
Updated: Mar 29, 2020 9:00 PM


Days after a hospital system said it wouldn't allow women to have visitors during childbirth, New York state quashed that policy.

Last week, NewYork-Presbyterian health care system made the 'very difficult decision' to ban such visitors, including the mothers' partners, to try to curb the spread of coronavirus.

But on Saturday, state officials announced plans for an executive order to allow women to have one visitor.

'In no hospital in New York will a woman be forced to be alone when she gives birth. Not now, not ever,' Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted Saturday.

The state Department of Health previously issued guidance on March 21 saying 'the visitation policy requires hospitals to allow one support person in labor and delivery settings if the patient so desires.'

The health department said it 'considers one support person essential to patient care throughout labor, delivery, and the immediate postpartum period.'

But some hospitals were ignoring that guidance, Cuomo's seceretary Melissa DeRosa said.

So on Friday, that guidance was turned into a directive, DeRosa said. She said an executive order will follow.

NewYork-Presbyterian said it's abiding by that directive.

'Starting immediately, one birthing partner or support person will be allowed to be with our obstetric patients during labor and delivery,' the hospital system tweeted Saturday.

'Our highest priority continues to be the safety and wellbeing of our mothers, babies, their families, and our staff.'

But visitors to delivery rooms must be screened for coronavirus, the state health department said.

'Labor and delivery and pediatric patient support persons must be asymptomatic for COVID-19 and must not be a suspect or recently confirmed case,' the Department of Health said.

'Additionally, hospital staff must screen the support person for symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, or shortness of breath), conduct a temperature check prior to entering the clinical area, and every twelve hours thereafter, and screen for potential exposures to individuals testing positive for COVID-19.'

New York state has the most coronavirus cases and deaths in the US. As of Sunday morning, the state had more than 52,300 cases and at least 728 deaths from the virus.

The World Health Organization says 'all pregnant women, including those with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections, have the right to high quality care before, during and after childbirth,' which includes 'having a companion of choice present during delivery.'

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 364965

Reported Deaths: 29484
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City19996821362
Nassau400342137
Suffolk392581861
Westchester331861352
Rockland13047626
Orange10292443
Erie5810504
Dutchess3847138
Monroe2791198
Onondaga2033127
Albany179676
Ulster164574
Sullivan134030
Putnam122758
Niagara97263
Oneida92946
Schenectady67329
Broome52844
Rensselaer46628
Saratoga46511
Columbia38032
Madison31010
Warren25226
Steuben24141
Greene23118
Washington22813
Orleans21033
St. Lawrence2002
Fulton19818
Ontario1989
Genesee1954
Tompkins1550
Chemung1361
Chenango1250
Tioga12421
Livingston1187
Wayne1103
Herkimer1053
Oswego1053
Clinton954
Montgomery824
Wyoming825
Cattaraugus820
Cayuga801
Chautauqua784
Delaware784
Jefferson720
Otsego695
Seneca550
Schoharie490
Allegany450
Yates396
Cortland390
Essex360
Lewis200
Franklin200
Schuyler110
Hamilton50
Unassigned00
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