Arizona Department Of Health Services: Hospital Visitation Policies Must Comply With ADA

Published: Monday, July 20, 2020 - 10:54am

Many Arizona hospitals have had to restrict visitors because of the coronavirus pandemic. But for people with certain disabilities like autism or Down syndrome, that restriction may have done more harm than good.

Now, the Arizona Department of Health Services is reminding hospitals that those visitation policies must be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Sarah Ruf is with the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.

"Some of the hospitals may have been allowing loved ones to assist if needed, and others just hadn't heard it. I'm sorry. Others simply had not heard about this federal guidance that came out in early June. And it's just now trickling down," said Ruf.

A study in the May issue of Disability and Health Journal found that people with intellectual or developmental disabilities were at higher risk of experiencing poorer outcomes if they contracted COVID-19.

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