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Visitor Policy, Procedures and Requirements

Visitor Policy (updated 1/14/2021)

One visitor will be allowed per patient in the following areas:
  • Inpatient, except if the patient is COVID positive. 
    • Surgery patients cannot have visitors during pre- and post-op, however, once the patient has been admitted following surgery, one visitor may be allowed.
    • Visitor hours will be limited to 6 a.m.-9 p.m. for all inpatient units.
  • Emergency Department, except if the patient is COVID positive. Visitors may opt into our patient companion notification system to receive text updates.
  • Pediatrics – patients are allowed one parent, guardian, or caregiver. COVID-positive pediatric patients are allowed one parent.
  • Obstetrics during delivery and during the 20-week ultrasound.
  • Oncology clinics - cancer patients are allowed one visitor during in-clinic provider visits.

Assumptions

  • Masking: All staff, visitors and patients are universal masking per public health recommendations and organizational policy. 
    • Visitors are required to wear procedural masks; personal cloth face coverings will no longer be permitted unless they are covered by a procedural mask. St. Luke's will provide procedural masks.
    • A visitor who does not wear a mask continuously and properly during a visit, will first be given a warning and will be reminded of the universal masking expectations. If, after a warning, they continue to violate the mask policy, they may be removed by security and added to a no-visit list.
    • If an egregious violation of St. Luke's masking policy occurs at any time, security may be contacted, and the visitor may be removed immediately.
    • All will be allowed to eat meals in the patient room during a visit, but they must:
      • Be mindful to eat short meals
      • Keep the door closed
      • While eating, put on a mask when anyone enters the room (e.g., environmental services, nurse, provider)
      • Put a mask back on after eating
  • Symptoms: Symptom screening of visitors is occurring at all clinical sites. Symptomatic visitors will not be allowed to visit.
  • Hand hygiene: Visitors must follow hand hygiene procedures. 
  • Physical distancing: There is adequate space in patient rooms and waiting areas for appropriate physical distancing. 
    • Visitors must follow strict aerosol generating procedure (AGP) policies and leave the patient room for the defined timeline during treatments.
  • PPE: There is adequate PPE for patients, visitors and health care workers. 
    • Visitors will receive appropriate PPE and instructions, including visitors for COVID positive patients. 
  • Non-patient employees are not permitted to have visitors in any St. Luke’s facility.
  • No visitors for COVID-positive patients; with exception that children may have one parent, regardless of child's COVID status.
  • Only one visitor will be allowed during each 24-hour period (not one visitor at a time).

Visitation Exceptions

  • Patients may have two visitors at end of life. 
  • Patients requiring ambulation support during an appointment at a clinic, laboratory or radiology may have one visitor.
  • Patients with disabilities that may include, but are not limited to, altered mental status, physical, intellectual or cognitive disability, communication barriers or behavioral concerns, who require an essential support person to assist with the specifics of their disability, may have one visitor if staff are unable to provide such assistance.
  • Inpatients and emergency department patients may have one clergy member (in addition to their visitor) at any point throughout their treatment. Only one clergy member may visit in each 24-hour period.
    • Prior to the visit, we ask clergy members to coordinate with a St. Luke's chaplain by calling the facility and asking for the in-house chaplain or house supervisor.
  • Patients in labor and delivery may have one visitor (support person, significant other, spouse) during their entire stay, including outside of visitation hours.
  • Approved deliveries – with all personnel following infection prevention guidelines.
  • Service animals are permitted.

Not Permitted 

  • Non-patient children under the age of 14, except under extraordinary circumstances (e.g., end of life). 
  • Outside deliveries (flowers, gifts, balloons, etc.).
    • Flower delivery is not allowed. Visitors may bring flowers when they enter and/or when they purchase them from the gift shop.
      • No flowers allowed in high-risk areas such as critical care and oncology.
  • Vendors, unless they have essential roles (assisting providers, delivering supplies, etc.).
  • Posthumous visits.
  • Visitors will not be allowed to eat in the cafeteria.
If an egregious violation of St. Luke's policies and/or safety measures occurs at any time, security may be contacted, and the visitor may be removed immediately.

Symptom Screening

No visitor exhibiting or reporting the following symptoms will be permitted, regardless of whether they meet the criteria above:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Universal Masking (updated 10/21/20)

St. Luke’s has a policy of mandatory universal masking for patients, visitors, vendors and staff in all facilities. A procedural mask provided by St. Luke's will be required in all patient care environments, as well as all common areas such as hallways, lobbies, waiting rooms, elevators, etc. Personal face coverings will only be permitted in patient care facilities when they are covered by a procedural mask provided by St. Luke's.

We are considering how this practice applies to non-COVID/PUI patients in their rooms, when they aren’t within 6 feet of anyone else. Specific guidelines and recommendations are being determined, but in the meantime, we're adhering to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations that these patients should continue to practice social distancing and masking when 6 feet of distance is not possible. 

Instructions for Visitors

  1. You must stay in the room with the patient as much as possible. If you need to leave the room to eat or use the restroom, please only move through the facility to necessary locations and return promptly. 
  2. You must always wear a procedural mask. 
  3. You must follow proper hand hygiene, as instructed by staff. 
  4. For the safety of patients and staff, you must maintain physical distancing from others of at least 6' or more.
  5. If you are directed to leave the room during a procedure, please follow staff direction. 
  6. We ask that you serve as the point of contact to update other family members/friends by telephone. 
We encourage only one visitor per 24-hour period (12 a.m.-11:59 p.m.). We ask that you limit the number of times you leave the facility and return. 

If you do not follow these instructions, you may be asked to leave the facility.

COVID-19 Resources

Navigating COVID-19 Together

St. Luke's is prepared to support our patients and community as we enter the fall flu season with COVID-19 still spreading across Idaho. Our commitment to safe care includes coronavirus testing, visitor screening, enhanced safety practices and more.