Patient Visitor Policy

During Coronavirus Response

Updated November 9, 2021

Valley understands that families and loved ones are an important part of the healing process. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we must take extra steps to protect our patients, staff, visitors, and community. We encourage the use of FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, and phone calls to connect with patients while they are in the hospital.

Masks are required in healthcare settings for patients, visitors and staff—even for those who are fully vaccinated. This policy comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Washington State Department of Health. The Delta variant is highly contagious. Hospitals and clinics care for the most vulnerable members of our community: fragile infants, patients with weakened immune systems, and many others who are not able to be vaccinated and/or are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Masking up helps us protect them. 

Two asymptomatic visitors per day are allowed for patients admitted to the hospital:

  • Two visitors per patient per day.
  • The visitor should be asymptomatic, meaning that they do NOT have any symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath.
  • Valley staff on the patient's unit should be aware prior to visitation for awareness and safe coordination of visitation.
  • No visitors will be allowed in rooms of patients who are suspected to have COVID-19  or who have tested positive, or any patients within the Infusion Center.

One asymptomatic visitor per day is allowed for patients during surgical procedures:

  • One visitor per patient per day.
  • The visitor should be asymptomatic, meaning that they do NOT have any symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath.
  • Valley staff should be aware prior to visitation for awareness and safe coordination of visitation.
  • No visitors will be allowed in rooms of patients who are suspected to have COVID-19  or who have tested positive, or any patients within the Infusion Center.

Visitation currently suspended in the Emergency Department (ED) and for ambulatory clinic appointments. Minors should NOT accompany patients to appointments.
One support person allowed in the ED and clinics under the following circumstances:

  • Patients with physical, developmental or emotional impairment
  • Patients who have altered mental status due to injury
  • Patients who are minors under the age of 18

Exceptions: below is the exception list to describe where additional visitors may be allowed and in the following circumstances:

  • Birth Center: Two asymptomatic banded support people allowed during labor, delivery and recovery; one asymptomatic banded support person in postpartum. For COVID-positive patients, one continuous visit is allowed and they must remain in the patient's room for the duration of the hospital stay.
  • Minors, Pediatrics and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients: Two asymptomatic banded parents/guardians allowed or one asymptomatic banded parent/guardian and one asymptomatic visitor.
    • Visits from a minor are allowed if accompanied by a parent/guardian, approved by the care team, and under the supervision of the approved guardian at all times.
     
  • End-of-life patients: Up to four visitors will be allowed.  There may be some circumstances where additional visitors may be allowed. Arrangements will be made in advance through discussion with the family and clinical team. COVID-19 positive patients at the end-of-life may have 2 visitors. The visitors who must adhere to PPE precautions
  • Patients requiring community-based care:
    • Community-based care providers, including those who provide spiritual care, involved in the care of a patient may visit for continuity of care in addition to the one visitor. 
     

Visitor Screening

  • Visitors will be screened at specified entry points for symptoms of respiratory illness.
  • Visitors cannot have tested positive or have been in contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days or have pending COVID results.
  • Visitors with symptoms are NOT allowed (fever, cough, shortness of breath).
  • One support person may escort an infusion center patient but cannot stay during the appointment.

Visitation Guidelines

  • The scheduled hours for visiting hospital patients are 8 AM - 8 PM daily
  • Visitors are not allowed for COVID positive patients.
  • Visitors with respiratory symptoms are NOT allowed (fever, cough, shortness of breath).
  • All visitors over the age of 2 will be asked to mask upon entry, even if they have been vaccinated. Visitors may bring their own mask or will be provided a mask if they do not have their own. 
  • Masks with exhalation valves are not permitted for patients and visitors. Read here for details on this policy.
  • Visitors may access public areas such as the cafe and gift shop but should group their activities to limit travel within the hospital.
  • Visitors may bring in food during their visit and deliver directly to the patient. Third party food vendor delivery to patients (Uber, Door Dash, etc.) is not permitted. 
  • Approved visitors must avoid eating and drinking in patient rooms unless it is necessary for an extended duration visit. If eating and drinking must occur, visitors must maintain a distance of six feet or greater from patients while eating or drinking.         
  • Some inpatient units are restricting flowers at this time. If your loved one is a patient at Valley, please inquire with the unit staff before delivering flowers. Visitors of patients in the Critical Care Unit or who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 are not permitted to bring flowers or balloons.
  • End-of-life will be defined as critically-ill patients who are highly likely to die in the coming days as determined by the attending physician and is not based on code status or restricted to patients who are on comfort care. 
  • Each unit manager has the discretion to limit the duration of the visit based on the clinical scenario. 

Stay Connected Virtually with CaringBridge

Valley Medical Center offers patients and their families CaringBridge Thumbnaila free subscription to CaringBridge, a secure, mobile-optimized health journal. Normal social media channels can be chaotic, cause fatigue and frequently result in some dropped connections. CaringBridge is designed with medical crises in mind to help patients stay connected and heal. Learn more