Patient Visitor Policy

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During Coronavirus Response

Updated May 5, 2022

Valley is now welcoming TWO visitors per patient, per day, 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 two support people, who must be the same throughout the entire stay. Valley understands that families and loved ones are an important part of the healing process, and restricting visitors is always a difficult decision. However, due to the current surge 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.

Effective May 5, Valley's procedures for visitors at the hospital have changed. Service Navigators will no longer be screening visitors for COVID-19 symptoms and giving them screening stickers. Instead, by entering Valley facilities, you attest that you do not have COVID-19 or any related symptoms. 

Medical-grade masks are required in healthcare settings for patients, visitors, support persons and staff—even for those who are fully vaccinated. These are available at our entrances. This policy comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Washington State Department of Health. The Delta and Omicron variants are 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 or support persons are allowed per patient in the Emergency Department (ED), inpatient areas, Birth Center and for ambulatory clinic appointments. Two asymptomatic support people are allowed for patients in the Birth Center. Minors should not accompany patients to appointments.

  • Two visitors per patient per day.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • There will be no visitors allowed in the Northwest Pavilion until further notice.

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: Two asymptomatic support persons (must be banded and cannot trade out visitor band). Will be asked to sign the visitor policy on admission and name two visitors for entire length of stay.
    • Antepartum: Two support persons per day.
    • BCED and Lactation scheduled appointments: One asymptomatic support person.
    • BCED / urgent or emergent cases: One support person allowed- will be screened for COVID symptoms.

One asymptomatic support person per day is allowed for patients during surgical procedures. Minors should not accompany patients. 

  • One support person per patient per day.
  • The visitor or support person 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.
  • There will be no visitors allowed in the Northwest Pavilion until further notice.

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

  • Minors, Pediatrics and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients: Two asymptomatic banded parents/guardians allowed and cannot trade out bands. Any discharged twin can continue to return with the parents, but no other minors are allowed.
     
  • 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. 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 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).
  • It is recommended, but not required, that visitors are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, including up-to-date booster shots.
  • 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 to 8 PM daily.
  • Visitors are not allowed for COVID positive patients.
  • 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. Visitors 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