Man Lies About COVID-19 Symptoms to Be With Wife During Labor

As a result, the hospital will now be taking the temperature of all visitors.
ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
Apr 2020
frustrated woman giving birth in hospital
Photo: Cara Nolan

COVID-19 has disrupted life as we know it. With more people staying indoors and at home, many are missing out on milestones they may have been looking forward to, from senior prom to a college graduation ceremony to a wedding to the birth of a child. This was the case for a man who lied about his symptoms so that he could visit his wife in the maternity unit of a hospital in upstate New York.

The husband, who has been previously exposed to COVID-19, had gone to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester to visit his wife as she gave birth to their child. When questioned by the staff, he said he had not been exposed to COVID-19 and was in good health. The man only told the truth about feeling ill after his wife also began showing symptoms very soon after giving birth. Now, UR Medicine will begin taking the temperature of visitors to its maternity units.

“It was purely an honor system before. Now we’re adding the temperature check.” spokesman Chip Partner told the Democrat and Chronicle.

Due to privacy laws, UR Medicine can’t comment on whether the mother, father or newborn have COVID-19. However, a spokesperson for UR Medicine, Barbara Ficarra, told NBC News that the new mom has returned home and a nurse who had assisted the family had been tested and the results came back negative.

Many hospitals across the country are changing their visitation policies to help stop the spread of COVID-19. UR Medicine currently has a “zero visitation” policy, with the exception of parents with a child in the hospital and a partner, spouse or doula visiting a patient in the maternity unit. These visitors will be screened for symptoms upon arrival.

“Those with symptoms will be asked to leave the hospital. These screening measures will be completed twice daily throughout the hospitalization,” the policy states, adding that the visitor is not permitted to leave the patient’s room without the patient at any time, including to smoke or to get food.

UR Medicine is now also requiring all doctors, staff and visitors to wear masks in public, clinic areas, but, according to the Democrat and Chronicle, the new policy is not related to this incident at Strong Memorial Hospital. We’re living in strange and unprecedented times, and they can be challenging to adjust too, especially if you’re an expectant parent. Regardless of your hospital’s specific visitor policy, we asked an OB for some things your partner can do to support you during this time, as well as for answers to the top COVID-19 related questions pregnant women are asking.

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