ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Strong Memorial Hospital announced an update to its visitation policy Wednesday.

Starting Thursday, most patients will be allowed only one visitor compared to two currently. The hospital’s emergency department will also be affected, enacting a zero visitation policy.

University of Rochester Medical Center officials say these modifications will only apply to Strong Memorial.

An exemption for pediatric patients remains in tact and they can continue to have two visitors.

According to the hospital’s visitation guidelines, the changes made to patient visitation is a response to the current community COVID-19 surge which has led to an “extremely” high patient volume in recent weeks.

Rochester Regional Health also recently enacted a new visitation policy. On January 7, the health care system updated its guidelines, saying no visitors will be allowed for patients on enhanced isolation precautions while all patients with certain disabilities and cognitive impairments were exempted.

URMC Public Relations issued the following statement about the policy, saying in part:

“Limiting visitation is a safety precaution the hospital has taken several times during the pandemic to reduce the risk of COVID exposure when cases are surging. We recognize this temporary change will be disappointing for patients and their loved ones, and will expand visitation again as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.