BMC Updated Visitation Guidelines

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In the wake of an increasing number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the Berkshires, Berkshire Medical Center has further updated its visitation guidelines, effective Wednesday, Dec. 3. 
 
Community spread of COVID-19 has risen dramatically in recent weeks following reports of unrestricted and non-socially distant large gatherings, which has resulted in a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 hospital admissions and cases.
 
BMC continues to provide safe comprehensive patient care services, both inpatient and outpatient, and these new visitation restrictions are designed to help maintain a safe environment for BMC staff and patients. The guidelines now include:
  • Medical/ Surgical, Critical Care, Progressive Care, Behavioral Health, Rehab, Family Birth Center and Pediatrics: No visitation
  • Emergency Department: No visitors in the department, including the lobby
  • End-of-Life Circumstances: Based on individual circumstances
  • Ambulatory surgery/Endoscopy/Crane Center: A companion can drop off patient, leave the building and return to pick up patient and receive discharge instructions if needed
  • No visitation for patients suspected of or testing positive for COVID-19
 
Although visitation is restricted at this time, there are certain exceptions for designated support persons such as:
  • 1 Birth partner
  • 1 Parent of a child 18 or under at a time
  • 1 Designated support person for patients with intellectual, cognitive, or physical disabilities
  • 1 attorney
  • End of life companion in approved circumstances
 
All designated support persons will be required to:
  • Only enter through the main entrance or ED
  • To be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure
  • Sign in, show ID and be given a visitor badge
  • Always wear a mask
  • Must go directly to the patient's room
  • Perform hand hygiene before entering and leaving the patient's room
  • Remain in the patient's room during their entire visit
  • Always maintain a 6-foot distance from patient if possible
  • Do not eat or drink in the patient's room
 
"BMC understands the importance of staying connected to loved ones. To facilitate this, we encourage digital visits to assure contact between patients and loved ones. Our staff can help set up an electronic visit using our equipment or the patient's own device," James Lederer, Chief Medical Officer/Chief Quality Officer said.
 
For more information on visitation guidelines and the coronavirus in Berkshire County, please visit www.berkshirehealthsystems.org/coronavirus.

Tags: BHS,   BMC,   COVID-19,   


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Methuselah Loses License for Two Days

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A bar and restaurant owned by a city councilor had its license suspended for two days for violating state COVID-19 guidelines.

On Monday, the Licensing Board voted to suspend Councilor at Large Yuki Cohen's liquor license for Methuselah Bar and Lounge, scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday, after a hearing for three alleged pandemic violation complaints that included pictures and anonymous testimony.

Because of the anonymous nature of the evidence submitted, the board weighed in on the fact that this is not Cohen's first time in front of the Licensing Board, as Methuselah faced a five-day liquor license suspension in 2018.

"I feel like in light of what the history is, I don't think we can just pretend that there's no history,"  Chairman Thomas Campoli said, concluding with the other board members that this case had to be handled differently than if it was a first violation.

On Jan. 15, the board held a hearing for two of the violations occurring on Aug. 22 and Dec. 11. It was decided to continue the hearing for the third violation and voting until Monday, Jan. 25.

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