The Mount Sinai Health System on Tuesday began banning visitors to its maternity and postpartum units in a bid to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
“We do not take this decision lightly, but these are unprecedented times that require unprecedented steps to protect our patients, their families and their new babies,” spokeswoman Lucia Lee said in a prepared statement.
“We know how important it is to connect with loved ones while in our hospitals and we will do everything we can to virtually connect patients with family and friends.”
The announcement by Mount Sinai, which operates eight hospitals in New York City and Long Island, followed a similar move Monday by NewYork-Presbyterian, which has 13 locations in the city and Westchester County.
NewYork-Presbyterian’s decision sparked outrage from expectant parents and others, with the NYC Midwives group warning that it would lead women to give birth at home, “whether or not that is the best medical decision for them.”
More than 275,000 people have also signed an online petition that calls on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to intervene and reverse the hospitals’ orders.
On Monday, de Blasio said he was “concerned” and wanted to know more about the rationale behind the ban.
“We’re talking about an irreplaceable life moment. The moment I was in the delivery room when my kids were born was one of the most important moments in my life,” he said.
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