Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Page

Catholic health’s covid-19 response

The Coronavirus pandemic is a completely unprecedented public health crisis that has created a number of unique challenges for healthcare systems globally, including ours. Catholic Health’s ongoing response to COVID-19 reflects the organization’s top priorities during this time, as well as the need to care for our patients, associates, and community. Please use the links below to access up-to-date information from Catholic Health regarding COVID-19.

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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New York State Department of Health

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Hotline – (888) 364-3065

Erie County Department of Health

Website
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Hotline – (716) 858-2929

Niagara County Department of Health

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Catholic Health Updates

Latest News

Up-to-date information on how Catholic Health’s COVID-19 response may affect our policies and facilities. 

Emergency Department Still Closed at St. Joseph Campus

The Emergency Department at Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus (205 Harlem Road, Cheektowaga) remains closed. We have recently seen a slight uptick in emergent cases present at the facility. After being a community hospital for a number of years, it is...

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Closures

Buffalo Laboratory Services, is temporarily closed and all services have been relocated to Seton Professional Building Laboratory Services at 2121 Main St, Buffalo and Cheektowaga Laboratory Services at Losson Rd, Cheektowaga. For more information and all questions please call (716) 706-2112.

Kenmore Medical Office Building, is temporarily closed. Blood testing services have been relocated to Kenmore Laboratory Services at 2780 Delaware Ave, Kenmore and x-ray services have been relocated to Kenmore Mercy Hospital at 2950 Elmwood Ave, Kenmore. For more information and all questions please call (716) 862-1123.

Blood testing at Mercy Comprehensive Care Center is temporarily closed. All services have been relocated to Seton Professional Building Laboratory Services at 2121 Main St, Buffalo. For more information and all questions please call (716) 862-1633.

Mercy Diagnostic Center – East Aurora, is temporarily closed and all services have been relocated to Mercy Ambulatory Care Center at 3669 Southwestern Blvd, Orchard Park. For more information and all questions please call (716) 662-0500.

Mount St. Mary’s Imaging & Laboratory Center, is temporarily closed and all services have been relocated to Mount St. Mary’s Hospital at 5300 Military Rd, Lewiston. For more information and all questions please call (716) 297-4800.

Changes

Sisters of Charity Hospital – Chemo Therapy Infusion Treatments. All chemo therapy infusion treatments at Sisters of Charity hospital are temporarily moved to Sisters Health Center Depew Infusion Center at 6199 Transit Road, Depew. For more information and all questions please call (716) 891-1631.

Catholic Health Visitation Guidelines & Restrictions

Inpatient Visitation
  1. At this time, normal visitation has been suspended for all inpatients with few exceptions.
  2. In extremely rare and extenuating circumstances involving imminent end-of-life or serious change in a
    patient’s status, temporary and conditional visitation may be granted. Any visitation exceptions involving imminent end-of-life or serious change in condition must be approved by Infection Control, the facility’s VP of Patient Care Services and the Vice President of Medical Affairs (VPMA) or their designee.Please note that our ability to grant visitation exceptions in rare circumstances is subject to change
    depending on the severity of the current public health crisis and the ever-changing guidance being released
    by state and federal authorities.
  3. Any visitors permitted under any exceptions referenced within this policy will have to submit to a health
    screening including a temporal (forehead) scan to check their body temperature. Visitors with temperatures
    elevated above 100 degrees Fahrenheit will not be permitted to enter any acute facility.
  4. Visitors experiencing shortness of breath, fever, cough or other potential COVID-19 symptoms will not be
    permitted to enter any acute facility; this is without exception.
  5. Visitors who have been in contact with someone who is actively infected with COVID-19 or had contact with a person who is actively under investigation for COVID-19 (PUI) will not be permitted entry to any acute facility; this is without exception.
  6. No visitors who are frail, elderly or at-risk (i.e. immune compromised or serious chronic illness) are permitted to enter any acute facility.
  7. Any visitors permitted under the exceptions listed within this policy will be required to wear appropriate PPE
    such as masks, gowns and gloves while visiting. Failure to agree to wear appropriate PPE will not be permitted. Any removal of mandated PPE during a visit may result in immediate ejection from the facility and revocation of future visitation.Visitors will be asked to stay in the patient’s room throughout the visit. When leaving, visitors will remove PPE as instructed, perform hand hygiene and exit the facility as directed.
  8. During the temporary visitation restrictions, families should be instructed to call the facility switchboard when making inquiries on the status of a loved one. Operators will be available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, to direct inquiries to the appropriate clinical representative.

    Families may be required to designate one (1) point of contact – the “designated patient contact” – for all inquiries made to the facility switchboard. In circumstances where a designated patient contact has been requested and communicated, the facility shall not accept calls from other individuals regarding that particular patient’s status. The contact will be established at the time of admission.

  9. Patient representatives, such as Health Care Agents or Surrogates, do not have any additional visitation
    privileges and remain subject to the temporary visitation restrictions.
  10. Any visitors permitted under the exceptions outlined in this policy must be limited to immediate family
    members, powers of attorney, guardians or patient representatives.
  11. Notwithstanding the current temporary visitation restrictions and/or any visitors permitted under the above listed exceptions, each individual acute facility retains the ultimate authority to limit or withdraw visitation privileges if the presence of non-patients infringes on the rights of others, compromises the safety of patients or associates, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated.
Mother/Baby Patients
  1. On labor and delivery units, a mother may have one visitor (not subject to change) during a maternity stay. No other visitors will be allowed; this includes children under the age of 18.
  2. In our NICUs, the baby’s mother and one support person (not subject to change) will be allowed to visit. No other visitors will be allowed; this includes children under 18.
  3. Current mother/baby exceptions are also subject to change and additional restriction, should it become necessary to further protect the safety of our new mothers and children.
  4. All inpatient visitor screening criteria apply.
Inpatient Non-Elective/Emergent Surgery Patients
  1.  One visitor for post-surgery discussion and accompany to inpatient room, then immediately leave. Visitor may return (with permission scheduled in advance) for assistance at the time of discharge.
  2. All inpatient visitor screening criteria apply.
Emergency Room Patients
  1.  One visitor is permitted to stay with the patient. Whether or not to permit a visitor to remain with a patient is based on the clinical team’s judgment.
  2. During clinical assessment, if the patient becomes a person under investigation (PUI) or COVID-19 testing is being considered, the visitor’s name and contact number will be taken. The visitor will then be instructed to leave the facility and wait in their vehicle with all future communications with that visitor becoming telephonic.
  3. Patient is discharged: Visitor may stay with the patient, staff may encourage waiting in the vehicle if appropriate.
  4. Patient is admitted: Visitor may accompany patient to inpatient room, then immediately leave.
  5. All inpatient visitor screening criteria apply.
Patients with Special Needs
  1.  Any patient that requires special needs, which can include those with a disability, developmentally disabled individuals with a variety of personal, educational and vocational tasks, etc., may be accompanied by one visitor – to be determined by the clinical care team and pursuant to the general conditions listed within this policy.
  2. All inpatient screening criteria apply.
Patient to Patient Visitation
  1.  In the event that an end-of-life COVID-19 patient has a family member already admitted as a patient to the same facility who has also been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is considered a person under investigation (PUI), visitation may be permitted, subject to the approval by the end-of-life patient’s clinical care team, Infection Control, the facility’s VP of Patient Care Services and VPMA or their designee.

Cancellations

An updated list of Catholic Health-sponsored events and classes that have been cancelled during this time. 

Events and Classes

Due to concerns surrounding the Coronavirus, Catholic Health will be cancelling all outpatient education programs, health screenings, support groups, seminars, and community events. Alternate arrangements are being made to provide patients with the educational services they need. Individuals registered for classes and programs will be contacted with more information, including at-home and on-line learning opportunities. For more information, call Catholic Health’s HealthConnection at (716) 447-6205.

Prenatal Education Classes

Due to New York State directives to limit public gatherings to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, Catholic Health will be providing at-home learning and online childbirth education classes for the foreseeable future. Expectant parents will receive a textbook with all the materials covered during the in-person classes. The textbook includes online resources and videos to prepare expectant parents for labor and delivery. The online classes will be followed by scheduled call-in opportunities to speak live with a childbirth educator. During this unprecedented situation, Catholic Health will continue to ensure the needs of expectant parents are meet throughout their childbirth experience. For more information, call Catholic Health’s HealthConnection at (716) 447-6205.