Cooperstown, NY – Bassett Healthcare Network is tightening visitor restrictions at all of its hospitals and long-term care facilities as COVID-19 cases continue to rise regionally and statewide. Effective Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, only individuals considered essential to the medical care of a patient will be allowed at Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown; A.O. Fox Hospital, Oneonta; Little Falls Hospital, Cobleskill Regional Hospital, and O’ Connor Hospital in Delhi.

“The decision to limit the number of non-patients coming to our campuses is in the best interest of our patients, staff and the communities we serve,” explains Bassett Healthcare Network President and CEO Tommy Ibrahim, MD, MHA. “We will reassess the decision in two weeks, but given the significant increase in coronavirus cases throughout the state, we felt this was a prudent measure to take and it is in keeping with actions taken by other health systems in the region.”

Individuals considered essential to the medical care of a patient (support persons) will be allowed at Bassett network facilities under the following circumstances.

  • Birth partners, parents or guardians of hospitalized children, and those with a loved one near the end of life may have a support person with them.
  • Inpatients may be allowed a support person if necessary to the medical care of the patient; this is subject to the approval of the patient’s care team.
  • Special circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis, including patients who have memory impairment.
  • Decisions regarding a support person in the outpatient setting will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Visitation is also suspended at the Bassett network’s two long-term care facilities and assisted living facilities – A.O. Fox Nursing Home in Oneonta, and Valley Health Services and Valley Residential Services in Herkimer.

Public’s role in safe care

Safe care precautions remain in place when on any Bassett Healthcare Network campus. Please help protect yourself, those around you, and our staff by following these requirements.

  • You must wear a mask and any other necessary personal protective equipment when in any network facility.
  • A covering for your mouth and nose will be provided if you do not have a mask.
  • You will be screened for travel and symptoms of illness, including fever when entering a Bassett Healthcare Network facility.
  • If you have traveled, expect to follow New York state’s current guidance for quarantine.
  • Practice thorough hand hygiene. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting any building and clinical area.

Safe in our care processes

Bassett Healthcare Network’s doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals are extremely well-versed in the processes and practices that prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The network adapted those processes for COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic, and those precautions remain in place. These include:

  • proper protective gear for staff
  • pre-screening patients prior to an appointment
  • e-check-in and separate care areas for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients
  • telehealth visits for patients who don’t need an in-person visit.
  • frequent disinfecting and cleaning

Symptoms, possible exposure, testing for COVID-19

Bassett continues to offer the public COVID-19 testing and evaluation of symptoms at locations throughout its eight-county network. Being tested for COVID-19 requires an appointment. People who believe they may have symptoms or been exposed to the virus should call the hotline, 607-547-5555, to be screened and advised of the next steps.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever, chills, sore throat, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, diarrhea, severe headache, loss of smell, loss of taste.