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Hospital visitor policy tightens again

The rapid spread of the delta variant requires stricter limitations on hospitals visitors.

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Due to the rapid increase of COVID-19 positivity in our community and the extreme conditions within our health care system, we are updating our visitor rules effective at 7 a.m., Monday, Aug. 23.

Here are the updated visitation rules:

  • All visitors and support persons must complete the entrance screening process.
  • No visitors under the age of 18 are allowed.
  • No visitors are allowed in hospital inpatient and outpatient departments except for:
    • One visitor in the Emergency Department.
    • Up to two guardians in pediatrics/NICU.
    • Up to two visitors in labor delivery and maternal child units.
    • Up to two visitors for a patient who is at the end of life.
    • Designated support persons as defined by state law (see definition, right)

The visitor restrictions may cause frustration and even anger among visitors. Employees are encouraged to use Words That Work to help calm tense encounters. This guide has been updated specifically to address concerns over visitation.

What is a support person?

Last year, the state enacted Senate Bill 1606 to support people with disabilities. The  law defines a support person as a family member, guardian, personal care assistant or other paid or unpaid attendant.

Support people are chosen by patient with a disability to provide physical or emotional assistance and help the patient communicate with care providers. They may make decisions on the patient’s behalf.

A disability may be a physical, intellectual, behavioral or cognitive impairment; deafness or being hard of hearing or other communication barrier; blindness; autism or dementia.

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