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Visitor Policy, Procedures and Requirements

Visitor Policy (updated 7/31/20)

All St. Luke’s acute hospitals, clinics, clinical facilities and office buildings have implemented a no-visitor policy. Any visitor permitted under the limited exceptions listed below must remain in the patient room during their visit. Once the visitor leave the patient room, they must leave the facility.

Main entrance doors and ED entrances will remain open. Other access points may be locked. All exits will be accessible. We will have staff on-hand at entrances to conduct a brief verbal screening for visitors that meet the limited exceptions listed below. Some sites also have thermal screening for visitors at certain hours. Given the extreme weather, we advise anyone not permitted into the facility to leave the St. Luke's campus and return later to pick up the patient, rather than wait in a hot car.


  • All staff, visitors, vendors and patients are universal masking per organizational policy.

  • Symptom screening of visitors is occurring at all clinical sites.

  • There is adequate space in patient rooms for appropriate social distancing.

  • Symptomatic visitors will not be allowed to visit.

  • There is adequate PPE for patients, visitors and health care workers.

  • Visitor(s) that meet exception criteria are intended to be the same individuals for that particular day.

Children's and Obstetrics Visitation Exceptions 

  • Obstetric patients in active labor may have one partner OR one support person accompany them. For all other visits, including imaging, the no-visitor policy applies.
    • For surrogacy deliveries, the surrogate is allowed one partner OR support person in delivery to accompany them; the baby will be allowed one birth/intended parent when admitted to the newborn nursery.
    • Minors under the age of 18 may have one visitor: parent, guardian or intended parent.  

Other Visitation Exceptions

  • Patients undergoing BMT/transplant may have one visitor. 
  • Patients requiring ambulation support during an appointment at a clinic, laboratory, or radiology may have one visitor. 
  • Approved deliveries – with all personnel following infection prevention guidelines.

Additional Clinical Considerations

  • Patients who are at the end of life may have two visitors. 
  • Patients with disruptive behavior, where a family member is key to their care, may have one visitor. 
  • Patients who have altered mental status or developmental delays (where caregivers provide safety) may have one visitor. 
  • Patients with a life-threatening diagnosis may have one person with them for the initial 24 hours; this includes Emergency Department visits.
  • Service animals are permitted.

Not Permitted 

  • Non-patient children under the age of 14, except under extraordinary circumstances (e.g., end of life). 
  • Posthumous visits.
  • Deliveries (flowers, gifts, balloons, etc.). 
  • Vendors, unless they have essential roles (assisting providers, delivering supplies, etc.).

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

Thermal Temperature Scanner

A thermal temperature scanner is used at some St. Luke's locations to record the temperature of visitors and staff members as they enter the facility. When you arrive, please move through the entrance at your normal pace and follow the line, single file. Note: There will be two lines, one for staff and one for visitors. 

  • Boise Medical Center: The temperature scanner will be in use daily at the main lobby entrance from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Meridian Medical Center: The scanner will be in use at the southeast, non-atrium entrance from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. During off hours, visitors will receive regular screening at this entrance and at the Medical Office Building entrance. 
  • Magic Valley Medical Center: A temperature scanner is in use daily for staff and providers. Patients and visitors will continue to receive regular, verbal screening upon entry. This is subject to change. 
  • Nampa Medical Center: A temperature scanner is in use daily for staff and providers. Patients and visitors will continue to receive regular, verbal screening upon entry. This is subject to change. 
  • Wood River Medical Center: The temperature scanner will be in use daily at all hours at the main lobby for visitors, patients, providers and staff.

Universal Masking (updated July 10)

St. Luke’s has a policy of mandatory universal masking for patients, visitors, vendors and staff in all facilities. A mask will be provided to patients, visitors, and vendors entering a patient care facility and will be required in all patient care environments, as well as all common areas such as hallways, lobbies, waiting rooms, elevators, etc. If someone arrives with their own mask, they may continue to use it.

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.