Wife Sick After Husband Hid Coronavirus Symptoms To Visit Her In Maternity Ward

A man who was feeling sick concealed his symptoms from the staff at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York, so he would be allowed to visit his pregnant wife in the maternity ward.

Hospital officials say the man confessed only after his wife began showing coronavirus symptoms after giving birth this past week, prompting strict new measures for hospital visitation.

“The mother became symptomatic shortly after delivering. That’s when the significant other admitted his potential exposure and that he was feeling symptomatic,” University of Rochester Medicine spokesperson Chip Partner told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Following the incident, the University of Rochester Medicine group, which includes Strong Memorial Hospital, Highland Hospital and several other affiliate hospitals, announced a ban on visitors except for a limited number of people who would have to undergo strict screening.

Previously, the hospital relied on “purely an honor system,” Partner said. 

UR Medicine had already limited visitation two weeks ago, as did a number of other hospitals throughout the state, and would ask visitors on arrival if they had any COVID-19 symptoms or any potential exposure to the coronavirus.

Now a temperature check and screen for symptoms will be enforced.

One support person for pregnant patients is still permitted given they pass a twice-daily screening. They will not be allowed to leave the patient’s room without the patient at any time, according to the UR Medicine website. Guardians for minors are also allowed.

The UR Medicine group, as well as Rochester Regional Health, also announced Monday a new universal-masking policy. All providers, staff and visitors in health care facilities will be required to wear masks in an effort to reduce transmission and limit exposure of the virus to vulnerable patients and medical staff.

Earlier this month, several hospital operators said they would ban spouses, birthing coaches or other support people from delivery rooms as a COVID-19 safety measure. However, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) intervened with an executive order announced Saturday that all hospitals must allow a support person (who does not have a fever) to be present during birth.

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