Orange County hospital changes COVID-19 end-of-life visitation policy following News 12 report
An Orange County hospital has changed its visitation policy for dying COVID-19 patients after News 12's report about a grieving woman who was unable to say goodbye to her father.
Alexis Pisciotta says her beloved father Angelo was always there for her since she was a little girl.
When the 72-year-old from Rock Tavern got sick with COVID-19 in February, it was her turn to be there for him - except she wasn't allowed to be. He died alone at Garnet Medical Center in Wallkill.
"Garnet prides themselves on compassionate end-of-life care and this was not that at all," says the Queens woman.
Garnet is one of four hospitals in Orange County.
News 12 confirmed in February it was the only hospital in the county that did not allow end-of-life visitation for patients with coronavirus, despite Pisciotta's pleas.
"It's disheartening that I wrote the CEO a letter and received a canned response," she says.
Since then, Piscotta says her case and News 12's story highlighting her painful experience has caused the hospital to change its policy and allow visitation for patients with COVID-19.
A representative for Garnet says they changed their policy after careful review and declining COVID-19 rates to now welcome visitors, so long as they follow visitation guidelines.
Pisciotta says she'd like the hospital to apologize but knows that may never happen, but she's grateful her voice will help others and knows her dad approves.
White House launches website for Americans to request free at-home COVID-19 tests. Here's how to get one.