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The Times 

Providence St. Mary easing visitor restrictions to allow two visitors per patient; more for end of life

 


WALLA WALLA—Due to declining cases of COVID-19 in the community, Providence St. Mary is easing visitor restrictions to allow two visitors/support people per patient beginning on February 23, 2022.

The visitors must remain the same individuals throughout the patient’s stay/appointment and cannot rotate. They may come once a day and may not come and repeatedly go within the same day.

Patients who are expected to pass away in 12 to 24 hours may have four visitors at a time, and those visitors may rotate. For example, if a family of 10 wanted to visit, they would divide up and rotate through, four at a time, until all could visit.

Additionally:

No visitors are allowed in COVID positive or isolation rooms unless the patient is at the end of life.

In the Birthing Center, two support people of the mother’s choosing are permitted throughout the stay. They cannot rotate.

Patients under the age of 18 may have two support people, with one of them required to be a parent or guardian legally able to make decisions. They cannot rotate.

In addition to the visitors outlined, patients may have visits from clergy.

All visitors are required to wear medical-grade surgical masks fully covering their nose and mouth while in the hospital, including while in the patient room. This requirement does not change after March 12. The change to Washington state’s indoor mask mandate does not apply to health care facilities. Masking will continue to be required statewide in all healthcare facilities in Washington State for the foreseeable future.

One will be provided if the visitor does not have a surgical mask. Bandanas, gaiters, and cloth masks have been proven not to provide sufficient protection, so in the interest of keeping everyone safe, these forms of face coverings are not acceptable.

Providence St. Mary is asking all visitors to help do everything possible to maintain proper masking. Proper masking with a good quality mask is a primary line of defense against COVID.

Providence St. Mary asks patients and their families to consider communication through phone calls and video chats as their primary means of communication. The hospital staff has iPads on hand and can help set this up upon request for patients who don’t already have the capability on their personal devices.

 

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