On the heels of the latest Otsego County Department of Health report from yesterday saying that the COVID virus weekly transmission rate is at a high 16.8% (weekly average) rate of people testing positive, a new policy change on inpatient visits at all of the network's hospitals makes sense. High COVID transmission rates are also still active in Chenango and Delaware Counties.

In a release from yesterday, Bassett Healthcare Network states that as of today (January 19) all hospitals will temporarily suspend visitation to inpatients, including emergency departments. This will affect patients at A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta; Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown; Cobleskill Regional Hospital; Little Falls Hospital; and O’Connor Hospital in Delhi. It's not known how long this current directive will last.

This all stems from the fast-spreading Omicron variant and the desire to keep the staff and patients at all Bassett Healthcare Network hospitals safe while the virus transmission rate is still high. Is this "no visitation" rule hard and fast? BHN officials say that extenuating circumstances will be taken into consideration and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Once January is over, the patient visitation policy will be reassessed.

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Bassett facilities that are still allowing inpatient visits are long-term care and outpatient clinics. Get more information on Bassett Healthcare Network policies and plenty of information related to COVID-19 at www.bassett.org.

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