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Suffern hospital bans children from visitingPosted: Updated:
The measles outbreak is now affecting who can and cannot visit one hospital in Rockland County.
The measles outbreak has prompted officials at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern to ban children under the age of 18, regardless of vaccination history, from visiting patients in the hospital.
The number of measles cases in Rockland County continues to grow and is now at 199 confirmed cases.
Officials say the policy is piggybacked by the exclusion order issued by the county last week. That rule bars anyone exposed to the measles or who already has the virus from visiting public places, including hospitals, unless they're receiving treatment.
Good Samaritan officials say the policy was put in place to protect patients, staff and other visitors from the spread of measles.
While some applaud the move, one expectant mother tells News 12 she's upset by the policy because the hospital won't allow her son to visit her when she gives birth this summer. "My child who is properly vaccinated may not be able to come visit his sibling in the hospital based on the fact that I've seen the signs. They're not allowing anybody under the age of 18.”
Some expectant mothers in the county say they're grateful that Good Samaritan is being extra careful.
Sheila Buchanan, of West Nyack, is a nurse in the Bronx, and agrees with Good Samaritan's policy. "People don't walk around with their immunization records, so it's very hard to enforce. So we're leaving it up to people to worry about other people that they may not even know," says Buchanan.
Montefiore Nyack Hospital allows children under age 13 to visit on a case-by-case basis, granted they show no signs of illness.
Both Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown and Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla welcome children visitors.