Patients at Stony Brook Hospital will no longer be able to receive visitors until further notice, it was just announced.

The hospital has revised its visitation policy as it reacts to increasing concerns over the spread of COVID-19 on Long Island.

“Patients and family members are encouraged to communicate using the bedside phone, mobile phone, FaceTime, Skype or any other technological device to help connect during this time,” reads the announcement.

“For patients who are unable to communicate with their families due to their medical condition, we will communicate with their healthcare proxy to keep them informed and provide an update about their loved one’s care.”

Hospital officials called it a “necessary step,” though there are exceptions in pediatrics, labor and delivery, maternity and NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), as well as possible exceptions on a case-by-case basis.   

For those who are experiencing influenza-like symptoms and seek care at Stony Brook University Hospital, the guidance is to drive up to the emergency department — do not exit the vehicle — and a staff member will greet the patient, screen for symptoms, and provide advice as to the next steps.

According to the hospital, their medical staff is highly trained at screening for and managing infectious diseases to limit the spread of a virus.

“That said, in response to the spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Stony Brook is prepared, should the need arise, to treat COVID-19 patients, following CDC and New York State Department of Health guidelines including recommended isolation and infection control procedures.”

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