DANBURY — Visitors to Nuvance Health hospitals and facilities must soon be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or provide a negative COVID test.
The rule announced on Wednesday goes into effect Oct. 5.
Visitors must show they have both of their COVID vaccine shots or negative result from a test taken within 72 hours to enter inpatients, emergency departments, Nuvance Health Medical Practices and ambulatory services.
Special populations and visitors with extenuating circumstances may be asked to provide documentation, but it is not a requirement to visit.
“This visitation change is a very important way to limit the risk of our patients, visitors and staff to COVID-19,” Chief Experience Officer Steve Meth said in a statement. “We know visitors and loved ones play an essential role as partners in healing and wellness, and we continually evaluate these guidelines with experts from nursing, infection prevention and physician leaders to craft the safest possible path to keep a loved one at our patients’ side in their moment of need.”
Nuvance Health includes Danbury, Norwalk, New Milford and Sharon hospitals, as well as three hospitals in New York.
The health system announced in August that it would require its employees to get vaccinated, but it’s the first in Connecticut to require the shots for visitors. Masks continue to be required.
To be considered fully vaccinated, visitors must have had a second Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna dose or a single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two weeks prior to their hospital visit.
Acceptable types of documentation include a physical or digital copy or photocopy of the visitor’s vaccine card or documentation from the visitor’s healthcare provider showing dates of vaccination, provider name and World Health Organization approved vaccine administered.
Antigen and molecular tests are acceptable forms of COVID-19 testing, as is any at home test that is observed and verified — with results showing name, date and negative result — by a healthcare provider or licensed COVID-19 testing center.
Nuvance’s visitation policy permits one support person per day for patients not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will be allowed visitation only for extenuating circumstances and special patient populations.