Women who are set to give birth in New York City will be able to have one healthy partner in the room, a change from a previous ruling that made women give birth alone at most major city hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"In no hospital in New York will a woman be forced to be alone when she gives birth. Not now, not ever," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted Saturday.
Cuomo's tweet was a reversal from the previous stance of two major New York City hospital systems, New York-Presbyterian and Mount Sinai Health System, which had sought to ban partners as a precaution during the coronavirus outbreak.
Jen Santamaria, who has a due date of May 30th for her first child, told TODAY she was cautiously optimistic about the news.
"I'm incredibly relieved to hear the news about New York hospitals reversing their decision to ban birth partners from delivery. Keeping my fingers crossed though because I know things are changing day by day and we’re fighting something very scary," she said.
Mount Sinai Health System, one of the major hospital networks in New York, tweeted about the reversal on Saturday.
"In partnership with New York State, effective today, we will permit one healthy partner to join the expectant mother for labor and delivery," the hospital said. "We have always - and will always - make these difficult decisions with the best of intentions and safety of the mother, baby and our staff as our guiding principle."
New York City is the current epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. The city reported 29,766 coronavirus cases as of Saturday. That number only includes people who have been able to get a test.