Patient Visitor Policy

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During Coronavirus Response

Updated May 11, 2023

Valley is now welcoming TWO visitors at a time per patient, in inpatient areas, the Emergency Department and clinics. Hours of visitation will be 8 AM to 8 PM. Patients in our Birth Center will be allowed four support people. By entering Valley facilities, you attest that you do not have COVID-19 or any related symptoms. 

Medical-grade masks continue to be required in all patient care settings for patients, visitors, support persons and staff—even for those who are fully vaccinated. You are required to wear a mask while entering the hospital, clinics and departments at Valley Medical Center and our Clinic Network. This includes waiting rooms and lobbies. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you. Masks are not required by highly recommended in public areas of the hospital, including cafeterias, hallways and elevators. Patients and caregivers will still be required to mask in our fitness center locations; non-patient fitness center members may remove their masks. Physical distancing will no longer be required. 

In light of changing guidelines and regulations from the state and federal goverments, Valley is aligned with the majority of healthcare organizations in the Puget Sound region who will continue to require masking in patient care areas. 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. You can read more about the reasoning behind our current masking policy here. Please respect people's choices in wearing or not wearing masks, so far as they align with our current policy.

TWO asymptomatic visitors or support persons are allowed per patient in the Emergency Department (ED), inpatient areas and for ambulatory clinic appointments. Four asymptomatic support people are allowed for patients in the Birth Center. Minors should not accompany patients to appointments.

  • Two visitors per patient at a time.
  • Full COVID-19 vaccination, including booster shots, is recommended but not required.
  • 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.
  • The Infusion Center has shared rooms and limited space, so to protect our immunocompromised patients, only one visitor is allowed per patient. For the safety and comfort of patients, we cannot allow children under 12 to accompany patients in the Infusion Center.
  • Visitors in rooms of patients who are suspected to have COVID-19 or who have tested positive will be required to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

A patient may require a support person 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
  • Birth Center (BC) patients: 
    • BC / Labor and Postpartum: Four asymptomatic support persons. Patient will be asked to sign the visitor policy on admission and agree to inform visitors of it. Once the visit is complete no lingering or crowded gatherings in hallways or lobby
    • BCED: One support person allowed due to space limitations
    • Lactation scheduled appointments: Mom + baby and 2 asymptomatic support people
  • Pediatrics:
    • Postpartum Couplets/Adult Surgical Patients: Four asymptomatic banded support persons during hospital visiting hours, 8 AM - 8 PM. Outside of visiting hours only two of the four asymptomatic visitors can stay. No minors under the age of 16 allowed.
    • Pediatric Patients: Two asymptomatic banded parents/caregivers, plus two other asymptomatic visitors at any time for a total of four at the bedside.
    • Any discharged twin can continue to return with the parents, but no other minors under the age of 16 are allowed.
    • If in isolation, only two asymptomatic banded parents/caregivers are allowed.
  • NICU:
    • Each patient will have 2 banded caregivers. Only 2 additional visitors may be present at the bedside at any time. These visitors may alternate throughout the hospital stay. Any discharged twin can return with the parents, but no other minors allowed.
  • Each unit manager has the discretion to limit or extend the duration of the visit based on the clinical scenario.

Surgery Admit/Discharge Units: To ensure privacy of patients, and due to space restrictions, the number of visitors is no more than two people at a time. One visitor is allowed until preoperative admission is completed. Minors should not accompany patients. 

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

  • End-of-life patients: Up to two visitors at a time 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. Visitors 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 visitors. 

Visitor Screening

  • By entering Valley facilities, you attest that you do not have COVID-19 or any related symptoms. 
  • 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).
  • It is recommended, but not required, that visitors are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, including up-to-date booster shots.

Visitation Guidelines

  • The scheduled hours for visiting hospital patients are 8 AM to 8 PM daily.
  • Visitors for COVID positive patients must wear appropriate PPE.
  • Visitors and support people with respiratory symptoms are NOT allowed (fever, cough, shortness of breath).
  • All visitors over the age of 2 will be asked to wear a medical-grade mask upon entry, even if they have been vaccinated. Masks are required in patient care areas, including waiting rooms and lobbies. Masks are not required by highly recommended in public areas of the hospital, including cafeterias, hallways and elevators. Visitors will be provided a mask if they do not have their own. 
  • 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.   
  • 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 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