NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Yale-New Haven Health announced on Wednesday that all visitors to admitted patients in its hospitals will have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

The requirement will take effect at 8 a.m. on Thursday, December 23. YNHHS is making the change in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases.

Also due to the rising cases, patients will only be allowed one visitor per day and all visitors must be 18 years or older.

Visitors must show proof of being fully vaccinated or a negative PCR test. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated visitors are eligible for visitation only if they can provide proof of a negative PCR test that was collected within 72 hours of the visit.

“In response to the increase in COVID-19 cases, we made the difficult decision to require proof of vaccination across our health system to keep our patients, visitors, and staff as safe as possible,” said Thomas Balcezak, MD, chief clinical officer, Yale-New Haven Health. “By taking these steps, it’s essential that we examine what best practices are and move forward to limit the opportunity for exposure. By showing proof of full vaccination or recent negative test status, we are making every effort to keep risk minimized and ensure the health and well-being of everyone across our health system. The health and safety of our patients, families and staff members is our top priority. These visitation guidelines will balance preventing the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 with the needs of our patients and their loved ones.” 

Yale-New Haven Health includes Yale-New Haven Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, Greenwich Hospital, Laurence & Memorial Hospital in New London, and Westerly Hospital in Rhode Island.