Samaritan allows ’support person’ during ER visits

Samaritan Medical Center ER changes

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - A trip to the emergency room is never easy and during the pandemic it’s become an even more stressful experience.

Samaritan Medical Center is looking to relieve some of that stress.

The hospital is now allowing one “support person” to enter the hospital with a patient when they’re admitted to the emergency department.

This has been prohibited until now because of the coronavirus.

Leslie Distefano, the hospital’s director of communications, said that having a support person will help improve the care a patient receives.

“Typically,” she said, “a support person is someone that’s really active in a patient’s care, they’re going to help them at home, maybe they know a little bit about their history and it allows us to have good communication in really care for that patient through the whole journey.”

Officials say the hospital can make this change because of the stable COVID-19 infection rate in Jefferson County.

Each support person will go through COVID screening and be given a face mask.

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