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Visitor Policy, Procedures and Requirements

Visitor Policy (updated 10/15/20)

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.
  • 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 organizational policy. 
    • Visitors will be required to wear procedural masks; cloth face coverings will no longer be permitted unless they are covered by a procedural mask. St. Luke's will provide procedural masks, if needed.
  • 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.
  • Visitor is requested to be the same individual for that day, as much as is feasible.

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.
  • 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.).
    • Flowers may be brought into the hospital by the visitor. If they are dropped at the entrance, they may be delivered to the room.
      • Room delivery may be delayed, depending on staffing.
      • 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.

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 10/5/20)

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

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.