On Monday, March 30, University of Rochester Medicine and Rochester Regional Health officials revealed that COVID-19 safety rules for Rochester hospitals and facilities within their healthcare system had to be changed after a man last week concealed his COVID-19 symptoms to visit his wife in the Strong Memorial Hospital maternity ward. Until then, regional hospitals had been using an honor system in which visitors were expected to honestly state to healthcare workers whether they came in contact with anyone who had the coronavirus or felt they were experiencing symptoms. Strong Memorial Hospital had limited visitors to only a few situations, which included after-birth visits by anyone who would be helping a new mother.
The unnamed man stated upon his arrival that he was fine. Yet, he later confessed to feeling unwell and that he had experienced a potential SARS-CoV-2 exposure after his wife also started to show symptoms following childbirth. As a direct result of this incident, staff members at area UR Medicine hospitals and facilities will take the temperatures of visitors every 12 hours. Other new rules have also been added for additional safety. For example, anyone inside of a hospital or facility, including staff members, patients and visitors, must wear a surgical mask.