Hospitals Move to Allow Family Visits for People Dying of Coronavirus

After stories of people not being allowed to say goodbye to loved ones dying of coronavirus, hospitals around the world are moving to change the rules

Gavriil GrigorovTASS via Getty Images

Since the coronavirus pandemic first emerged in China, more than a quarter of a million people around the world have died from COVID-19 — many without a family member by their side to help them through their final moments.

With most hospitals banning visits, the infectious nature of the virus has made it impossible for many families to be at the bedside of a loved one who is dying, leaving them instead to grieve from afar. It has left their loved ones, too, to die with neither the final comfort of a familiar voice nor one last touch of a familiar hand, NBC News reports.

But, even as the pandemic continues to grow, some hospitals are reconsidering that policy. “I was so happy we had the privilege to say goodbye,” Rinat Vita Dishlo told NBC News.

The Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel allowed Dishlo, 48, and her two siblings to see their 74-year-old mother before she died from COVID-19 on April 22. Wearing full protection, Dishlo was able to not only see her mother, but stroke her head and hair as she lay in her bed, slipping in and out of a coma.

“I talked to her and she opened her eyes,” Dishlo said. “I reached out my hand to her and she squeezed it back.”

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