Visiting Information, Calling a Patient & Staying Connected

St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals & Clinics are actively working on preparedness for COVID-19/Coronavirus. The situation is rapidly changing… so please be aware policy changes may be in place when you arrive.


Updated 12-2-20

Given the current prevalence of COVID-19 in our community, St. Mary’s & Clearwater Valley Hospitals and Clinics are very concerned with limiting exposure to both our patients and staff. Due to limited rapid testing supplies, testing all visitors is not feasible for us at this time. Given all of these factors, we are no longer allowing visitors, with the following exceptions. All other visitors will be restricted at this time. We will revisit this temporary restriction weekly.

No visitors, except:

  1. One immediate family member per 24 hour period for minors only.
  2. End of life: Two visitors per 24 hour period, after passing screening questions. Must be the same two visitors for the day, but may change daily and may be minors as long as they are able to wear necessary PPE.
  3. Medically necessary caregivers. These need to be reviewed by attending physician and approved on a case by case situation.
  4. Clinic patients will NOT be allowed a visitor at their clinic appointments unless they are a minor, or there is a someone (spouse, partner, caregiver, parent, etc.) that is necessary to the medical decision making for that appointment.

We will continue to allow a birth partner and support person with our OB patients, but the birth partner, support person and OB patient will get a rapid swab upon admission.

We understand the hardship this can create, and we do not undertake implementing these restrictions lightly. However, at this time the risk is just too great and we must protect all of our patients, medical staff, and our resources, in order to continue to offer the care that our community deserves. We are deeply grateful for your patience and compassion as we work through these unprecedented times.

Guidelines to the public:

  • Avoid the emergency room unless it is essential. The emergency room is trying to limit any possible exposure and serve those with critical needs.
  • Stay home if you are sick – even if symptoms are mild.
  • Practice good personal hygiene habits, including handwashing, coughing into your elbow, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

A. Routine Visitor Managed Visitor Access and Movement within the Facility Policy

  • Upon entry to the facility, all visitors will be actively assessed for fever and COVID-19 symptoms. If fever or COVID-19 symptoms are present, the visitor will not be allowed entry into the facility.
  • All visitors will wear a facemask or cloth face covering at all times while in the facility, perform frequent hand hygiene, and restrict their visit to the patient’s room.
  • Nursing staff will provide all visitors instruction, before visitors enter the patient’s rooms, on hand hygiene, limiting surfaces touched, and use of PPE according to current facility policy while in the patient’s room.
  • Visitors must wear PPE as instructed by nursing personnel.
  • Visitors must stay in the patient’s room the entire time of the visit. Once the visitor leaves the patient room, they must leave the medical center.
  • Personal digital media may be used in the hospital patient room to allow other family or loved ones to make contact with the patient.
  • Visitation rights may be revoked at any time to ensure the safety of the patient, staff or visitors at the discretion of the clinical, nursing, medical, or infection prevention staff.
  • Visitors will not be allowed during aerosol generating procedures (AGP) or other procedures.
  • Visitation to patients with pending or positive COVID-19 test will not be allowed except as allowed under in Section B. below AND after meeting all criteria in this section.
  • All end-of-life visitations will follow criteria outlined in Section C. below after meeting all criteria in this section.
  • Employee visitors and/or family members are not allowed into the facility (no exceptions).

B. COVID Isolation Patient Visitor Restriction Policy

  • Visitation to patients with pending or positive COVID-19 test will not be allowed except under the following circumstances:
    • Personal digital media should be considered as an option and utilized prior to considering any physical in-person visitation.
    • Visits will be pre-approved as essential by both the patient’s physician AND Infection Prevention prior to any allowed visitations (no exceptions).
    • Approval will include evaluation of risk to the health of the visitor (e.g., visitor might have underlying illness putting them at higher risk for COVID-19) and ability to comply with precautions.
    • Visitations will be scheduled and directly controlled by nursing staff after approval is obtained.
    • All criteria in Section A. must be met at all times.
    • PPE for visitors is mandatory, no exceptions.

 C. End-of-Life Patient Visitor Policy (all patients)

  • Compassionate visitor restrictions for end of life visitation to patients with pending or positive COVID-19 test will follow Sections A. and B. above after meeting criteria below.
  • All end-of-life visitation will adhere to the following protocol:
  • The patient’s provider will determine if the patient has a high probability of being at end of life.
  • The provider will notify nursing staff of the determination.
  • Nursing will contact the necessary family/loved ones or will delegate as appropriate.
  • A maximum of two visitors will be allowed.
  • Only immediate family will be allowed.
  • Visitors must wear PPE as instructed by nursing personnel, no exceptions.

We reserve the right to deny access to ANY visitor that appears unhealthy, is displaying symptoms of sickness or is running a fever.


The most up to date information on this rapidly changing situation can be found on the CDC website.

You can also receive Idaho-specific updates at

Important to note about the illness:

  • Most people with COVID-19 will have mild illness
  • Not everyone needs to be tested and testing is not yet widely available
  • We are actively working on plans to care for patients with severe coronavirus
  • High-risk patients for severe coronavirus disease are older and have comorbidities (other health issues)

Options For Contacting A Patient

For a visitor calling to reach an inpatient at St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals, please call the main hospital operator at 208-476-4555 in Orofino and 208-962-3251 in Cottonwood, provide the patient’s first and last name and ask to be connected to the patient’s room.  If the patient in question has not opted out of the hospital directory as a privacy preference, the operator will be able to connect the caller.

Reminder: Patients can use their hospital bedside phone to visit with loved ones if they don’t have access to a smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Visitor Info Curing Covid-19
Download a copy of our Virtual Visitation Guide

For everybody’s safety during the COVID-19 response, St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals and Clinics have taken the responsible step to limit visitors to our hospitals. Meanwhile, we appreciate that staying connected to loved ones can have a positive impact on a patient’s health and well-being. And it’s important for family and friends to stay in touch and aware of a patient’s status throughout their care. Thanks to today’s internet and social media tools, virtual communication is easier than ever.

Directions For Connecting To A Patient

Face-to-face Apps:

Choose from the below options for your smartphone/devices (requires a camera on both devices)

Video, Voice Or Text Options:

Connect with video, voice or text via the internet or on a device through any of the options below.