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.
This Visitor Restriction Policy is implemented to protect staff, patients, and community during the outbreak of COVID-19.
POLICY: This Visitor Restriction Policy will remain in effect until rescinded by Infection Prevention, changed by Infection Prevention, or further restricted by the Incident Command Team. Departmental managers are responsible to ensure all employees under their leadership read, understand, and apply this Visitor Restriction Policy at all times. Any exceptions to this policy must be pre-approved by Infection Prevention.
A. Routine Visitor Managed Visitor Access and Movement within the Facility Policy
Routine visiting is limited at St. Mary’s Health and Clearwater Valley Health (SMH-CVH) until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our patients, staff and community. Visitors will be allowed in based on the criteria outlined below:
A. Non-COVID 19 Positive Acute Care Patients:
- Visitors are limited to:
i. Immediate family, parents, spouse
ii. Essential caregivers
iii. Adult aged (greater than 18-years of age, unless qualified as a birth parent).
- 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.
- Visitors must meet qualified person(s) criteria under Section A.1. above AND limited as follows:
i. Hospital patients: Two (2) visitors allowed in room at one time, unlimited visitors per day.
ii. Hospital ER: Two (2) visitors
iii. Hospital L&D: Birth parent and one (1) support person.
iv. Hospital Nursery: Birth parents only
v. Hospital outpatient (all): 1-person
vi. Clinics: Two (2) visitors
- In addition to the limitation on visitors in in Section 3 above, additional visitors will be considered in the following cases:
i. Patients who need an essential support person for safety because of their mental or development status or for their disability.
ii. Patients who require a home essential support person to be trained.
iii. Community-based providers who are involved in the care of the patient may visit for support and care continuity.
iv. Members of the spiritual community upon patient’s request only
- All visitors will wear a facemask at all times while in the facility, perform frequent hand hygiene, and restrict their visit to the patient’s room. Visitors are asked not to eat or drink while in the rooms, as that would require removing their mask.
- 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. All visitors will be tracked on a visitor log upon entry of facility. This log will be used for contact tracing, if necessary.
- 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:
a. Personal digital media should be considered as an option and utilized prior to considering any physical in-person visitation.
b. Visits will be pre-approved as essential by both the patient’s physician AND Infection Prevention prior to any allowed visitations (no exceptions). Visits will only be considered if visitor is not currently on isolation as a result of a positive exposure (minimum of 7 days post exposure).
c. 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.
d. Only one immediate family member will be allowed visitation.
e. Visitations will be scheduled and directly controlled by nursing staff after approval is obtained.
f. All criteria in Section A. must be met at all times.
g. 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:
a. The patient’s provider will determine if the patient has a high probability of being at end of life.
b. The provider will notify nursing staff of the determination.
c. Nursing will contact the necessary family/loved ones or will delegate as appropriate.
d. A maximum of two visitors will be allowed.
e. Only immediate family will be allowed.
f. Visitors must wear PPE as instructed by nursing personnel, no exceptions.
- Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings, updated 04/13/2020, downloaded 05/07/2020 from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control- recommendations.html#manage_access
- Kootenai Health – End of Life Visitor Policy for COVID-19 Incident, 04/23/2020
- UW Medicine Visitor Restriction Policy, 03/09/2020.