New York man hid coronavirus symptoms to visit wife in maternity ward: hospital

A Rochester, NY man with coronavirus symptoms hid them so he could get into the maternity ward as his wife gave birth last week, Fox News has confirmed.

It happened at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, part of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC).

The new mom began showing symptoms of COVID-19 shortly after delivering, the Democrat & Chronicle first reported. That’s when the dad fessed up.

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“The patient in question and her partner were in a private maternity room throughout their hospital stay,” said Chip Partner, a URMC spokesman. “Both the mother and partner were isolated from other patients.”

When the new mother started showing symptoms, hospital staff learned that the father had not only been exposed to COVID-19, he also was symptomatic, Partner said.

The hospital told staff members who came into contact with the couple about the situation and took health precautions, he noted. One of the hospital workers developed symptoms and was quarantined at home but later tested negative for COVID-19.

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As for the couple and the newborn, they were asked to self-quarantine until their test results came back, and they were discharged from the hospital.

New York has by far seen the most coronavirus cases out of any state with more than 75,000. Rochester is more than 300 miles northwest of New York City, which has more than half of the state’s cases.

“We have been continually adjusting our procedures and safeguards during this rapidly evolving public health threat,” Barbara Ficarra, a URMC spokeswoman, told Fox News.

The hospital announced new visitation rules in its obstetrics units on Friday, eliminating most hospital visits altogether.

Now, only a single visitor is allowed for birth and throughout the postpartum period leading up to hospital discharge, according to the new guidelines.

The visitor will be screened upon arrival and have their temperature taken. Anyone with coronavirus-like symptoms will be turned away from the maternity ward. But even after passing the initial screening, the visitor will be screened twice a day throughout the hospital stay. And the visitor is not allowed to leave the patient’s side -- not even for a smoke -- for the duration of the stay.

“We recommend utilizing technology to keep in touch with other friends and family during this special time,” the hospital said, noting it would work with patients whose relatives don’t have access to those devices. “We will return to regular visiting practices as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.”

The hospital also announced mask-wearing requirements on Monday for all health care providers, hospital staff and visitors within the facility.