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Can I visit a relative in the hospital? Here’s how Valley hospitals handle visitors.

Californians seeking to visit a patient at California’s hospitals will only be granted access if they are vaccinated against coronavirus or able to provide evidence of a negative test, state public health officials announced on Thursday.

The order, which takes effect this Wednesday, covers hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and intermediate care facilities.

Vaccinated visitors must provide documentation of their fully-vaccinated status. Those unvaccinated or partially vaccinated are subject to the coronavirus test requirement for entry.

Last week, Valley hospitals began enacting new revisions to their visitor policies to reduce the number of visitors across the board.

Here’s where they stand:

Adventist Health

All Adventist Health hospitals abide by the same visitors policy:

  • NO visitors allowed for patients with COVID-19, with the exception of Obstetrics patients
    • Support persons for OB patients who have COVID-19 MUST remain in the room during the patient’s stay)
    • One designated support person is allowed in Labor and Delivery and Postpartum, but NO visitors are allowed in the triage area.
  • One hospital visitor is allowed, per patient, per day, for all non COVID-19 patients (visitors are not allowed to alternate).
  • Emergency room visitors will only be allowed, if needed to accompany the elderly, children, those with language barriers, etc.
  • One visitor is allowed, per patient, in the Surgery department.
  • Visitor must agree to a temperature screening and wear a face covering/mask (visitors unwilling to comply will not be allowed inside the hospital).
  • Visits are restricted to patient’s room.
  • Visitors will be required to wash their hands or use hand gel before and after visiting a patient.
  • All visitors should be 18 years or older.

Community Medical Centers

The Fresno-based hospital network, which includes Community Regional Medical Center – the area’s lone Level I Trauma Center – and Clovis Community Medical Center provides adult adults (16 years of age and older) will only be allowed based on the exception list outlined below, and must stay in the room for the duration of the visit. Support persons must comply with screening instructions and personal protective equipment.

The exception list applies to visitors who pass entrance screening:

  • Obstetric patients may have one support person accompany them.
  • Nursery/Neonatal Intensive Care Unit patients may have one visitor, parent or guardian. Patients who are under the age of 18 may have one visitor, parent or guardian.
  • Patients who are at the end-of-life may have only two visitors. Please note that family meetings should be conducted by teleconference.
  • Patients who are being discharged may have one visitor to receive discharge instructions and teaching.
  • Patients with physical, intellectual, developmental disabilities or cognitive impairments or their family/patient representative may designate two support people, but only one support person may be present at a time.
  • Patients who don’t meet any of the criteria above and have been in the hospital more than 14 days will be allowed one visitor for one day every two weeks.
  • Others as determined on a case-by-case basis by hospital leadership.

Dignity Health

The hospital network, which includes Bakersfield’s Memorial Hospital and Mercy Hospital along with Merced’s Mercy Medical Center and Stockton-based St. Joseph’s Medical Center published these guidelines effective June 30.

  • All visitors to the hospital must be 18 years of age or older and must present one form of legal identification, preferably a Driver’s License.
  • Visitors without identifcation could be denied entry to the hospital.
  • All visitors will be screened for COVID-19 upon entry and check in and out at the front entrance Security desk.
  • Visitors must wear a mask in accordance with the hospital masking policy at all times while in the facility. Visitors are expected to go directly to the patient’s room and stay with the patient until the visitor departs from the hospital.
  • We encourage patients and families to coordinate visitation to ensure that the two visitor maximum isn’t exceeded. Please keep in mind the hospital lobby and waiting areas are restricted.
  • COVID-19: – Patients with negative COVID test results may receive visitors as outlined in these guidelines. – Adult patients with a current/active case of COVID-19 may not have visitors at this time. Exceptions for COVID-19 patients at end of life may be considered.
  • Pediatric patients who are positive for COVID-19 may have a parent/guardian with them at all times; visitors will be required to wear the designated PPE and must stay in the room with the patient.
  • Visitors who are positive or symptomatic for COVID-19 may not enter the hospital at this time.
  • Patients under the age of 18: One parent/guardian is welcome at all times and a second designated visitor is welcome daily between the hours of 6:00AM and 8:00PM.
  • NICU: Parents/guardians are welcome to visit together or separately daily between the hours of 6:00AM and 10:00PM.
  • Labor and Delivery: Patients may designate two people to be present through delivery.
  • Postpartum Care: One person may stay with the patient through discharge. Patients may welcome one additional visitor per day between the hours of 6:00AM and 8:00PM.
  • General Inpatient/Nursing Units: Patients may welcome two visitors per day between the hours of 6:00AM and 8:00PM. Extended and overnight visitation is dependent on the patient’s condition and will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
  • Procedural Areas: Outpatients may have two visitors arrive and stay with them until they are taken to the procedural area, and return when the patient has returned to a room (during visiting hours). Inpatients having procedures may have two visitors daily between 6:00AM and 8:00PM. Visitors may not wait inside the hospital during procedures at this time.
  • Emergency Department (ER): Adult patients in the Emergency Department may have one visitor through discharge from the ED. If the patient is admitted to the hospital, further visitation will follow the guidelines for that unit.
  • Patients with Physical, Intellectual, and/or Developmental Disabilities and/or Cognitive Impairments: Two visitors per day between the hours of 6:00AM and 8:00PM.
  • Patients being Discharged: May have two persons present to receive instructions as they transition to home.
  • Clergy: Clergy are welcome to visit patients as requested by the patient or their family. If after hours, a notice to the hospital chaplain prior to the visit is appreciated.
  • Patients near Death: May designate two people to meet with healthcare providers to discuss end of life options. When in the stages of actively dying, two designated people may remain with the patient through end of life. Requests for end of life visitation with a COVID-19 positive patient, or exceptions to the number of visitors at end of life, may be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Patient Belongings / Deliveries to Patients: Deliveries to patients cannot be dropped off at this time. Personal effects needed for the patient’s care or comfort should be brought by a visitor.
  • Food Deliveries: Visitors may receive food deliveries to the hospital through the main entrance. Visitors must make all arrangements to receive the order directly from the delivery person in front of the hospital. Food deliveries may not be dropped off, and hospital staff cannot assist in food deliveries.

Kaweah Health

The Visalia-based hospital network announced that coronavirus negative patients may see one visitor per day. However, children aged 16 and older may visit so long as they wear a mask and are accompanied by a parent.

Kern Medical Center

The Bakersfield-based hospital continues to operate under a visitor’s policy set in Sept. 2020, as follows:

Emergency Department

  • Permit 1 visitor per encounter for each adult; 2 visitors per encounter for pediatric patients
  • 1 visitor for COVID-19+ or rule out COVID-19 pediatric patients
  • No visitors for COVID-19+ or rule out COVID-19 adult patients
  • Exception: end of life patients
  • ED visitors will not be allowed to “follow” patients who are admitted
  • No exchange of visitors

Maternal Health – Labor & Delivery (OB)

  • 2 visitors per encounter selected by “Mom” to be present during labor and birth
  • 1 visitor for COVID-19+ patients
  • No exchange of visitors

Visitors to Emergency Department and Labor & Delivery will be provided medical masks

Areas allowing one visitor per patient, per day

  • Pediatrics
  • Neonatal ICU (NICU)
  • Maternal Health (Post-Partum)
  • Pediatrics in Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Areas where a pediatric patient is being treated, i.e., Radiology

One overnight visitor per patient will be permitted in the Pediatric unit and Maternal Health Visiting Hours are 8:30 am to 8:30 pm

Areas with no visitors

  • Behavioral Health Unit
  • Diagnostic Treatment Center
  • Outpatient Radiology
  • Acute Care – 2C, 3C, 3D, ICU
  • All Other Areas of Hospital

Exceptions may be considered, including trauma patients, comfort care, or patients reliant on an advocate for their care. Children under the age of 18 may not visit or enter the hospital or clinics unless seeking care.

Madera Community Hospital

Madera’s public hospital allows up to two visitors per patient.

  • No children under the age of 13.
  • Bedside visiting is restricted to no more than two visitors at a time.
  • Smoking is not permitted anywhere on Madera Community Hospital campus, inside or outside. This is enforced for the safety of our property and the health of our employees and guests.
  • A “No Visitors” sign may be posted at any time to ensure the patient’s comfort.

Emergency Department

Visitation with a patient in the Emergency Department is dependent on the patient’s condition and the Emergency Department environment.

Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

ICU patient visitation is limited and restricted based on medical condition. If the ICU waiting room is occupied, visitors are asked to wait in the main lobby. All ICU visitors will be asked to wait in the main lobby after 8:00 p.m.

Maternity Visiting Hours

Maternity Visiting Hours are between the hours of 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Siblings are allowed to visit during the hours of 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Fathers or the primary support person(s) may visit at any time. Only Labor and Delivery coaches are permitted in the birthing room and are required to wear a “coach” ID bracelet which will be provided by the Labor and Delivery staff.

Waiting Areas

Waiting areas are located throughout the hospital. Children cannot be left unattended in any area of the hospital.

  • Main Floor Lobby (Area #1 on 1st floor map)
  • Surgical Services Lobby (Area #4 on 1st floor map)
  • Emergency Department (Located on the first floor area #5 on 1st floor map)
  • Critical Care ICU (Located on the second floor yellow area on 2nd floor map)
  • Family Health Services (Light Blue building on campus map)
  • Cafeteria (Area #6 on 1st floor map)
  • Outpatient Center (Magenta building on campus map)
  • Children’s Visitor Center (Light pink on campus map)

Sierra View Medical Center

The Porterville hospital has a three-tiered visitor policy depending on the patient type.

One (1) unique in-person visitor (support person) per patient is allowed and applies to:

  • Emergency Department Patients:
    • Only one (1) masked visitor allowed at a time during the patient’s stay.
    • Multiple visitors may not wait in the ED lobby.
    • Visitors rotation allowed. (You can switch out with other visitors, or leave and return during the patient’s stay.)
  • Surgery (Pre-Operative and Recovery):
    • Only one (1) masked visitor is allowed in the patient’s pre-operative or recovery room. During surgery masked visitors will be asked to leave the facilities and one masked visitor will be allowed to return to the recovery area to receive discharge instructions.
    • Waiting area: Two (2) masked visitors will be allowed.
    • Visitor rotation allowed. (Visitors may switch out with others, or leave and return during the patient’s stay.)
  • Cath Lab and Interventional Radiology (IR) Patients (Pre-Operative and Recovery)
    • Only one (1) masked visitor is allowed at a time during the patient’s stay.
    • Visitor rotation allowed. (You can switch out with other visitors, or leave and return during the patient’s stay.

Two (2) in-person visitors (support persons) per patient are allowed between the hours of 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in most areas of the SVMC campus.

Visitor rotation allowed. (Visitors may switch out with others, or leave and return during the patient’s stay.)

Visitors do NOT need to be designated by the patient. If there are more than two visitors, the most recent to arrive will be asked to leave the facility.

This applies to:

  • CDU and Pediatrics Area
  • Med/Surg, ICU and Telemetry Patients: (Patients must have no signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and must not be in the process of being tested (Suspect) for COVID-19.)
  • Maternal Child Health (Labor & Delivery): Up to two support persons (visitors) will be allowed to visit patients in the Maternal Child Health Department.
  • Surgery Patients *please refer to pre-op and recovery above
  • NICU: Parents are allowed in the NICU at all hours except during shift change between 6:30 AM and 8:00 AM and 6:30 PM and 8:00 PM.
  • Patients with Physical, Intellectual, and/or Developmental Disabilities and Patients Cognitive Impairments

Three masked visitors allowed in:

  • Maternal Child Health (Post-Partum): Father or support person of the newborn may visit at any time. Two (2) additional visitors are allowed between 6:00 AM and 9:00 PM.
    • No more than three (3) visitors may visit at one time.
    • Visitors of Post-Partum patients must be 13 years of age or older.
    • Visitor rotation allowed for the two (2) additional visitors. These visitors may switch out with others, or leave and return during the patient’s stay.
    • The number of visitors may be adjusted at the bedside and will be determined at the discretion of the bedside nurse.

No children under the age of 13 are allowed in the following areas:

  • ER
  • ICU
  • Maternal Child Health (Labor & Delivery)

Departments that allow two or more visitors excluding Maternal Child Health (Labor & Delivery), children under the of age 13, are permitted as long as the child is able to observe hand hygiene, physical distancing and should be accompanied by an adult visitor over the age of 18 at ALL times.

St. Agnes Medical Center

The northeast Fresno hospital reactivated its No Visitor policy on Saturday, Aug. 7.

The hospital does provide two exceptions:

Maternity Visiting

  • ONE support person allowed
    • Wear a wristband (One will be provided. Please keep it on for the duration of the patient’s stay and do not share with someone else.)
    • Rotation of visitors not permitted.
    • No visitors in OBED.

Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. For additional COVID-related maternity questions, click here.

Emergency Room

The No Visitor policy remains in effect, however, exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis, when warranted.

Sutter Health

Visitors to Sutter Health Memorial Medical Center in Modesto are restricted as follows:

TYPE OF PATIENTNUMBER OF VISITORS ALLOWED
Emergency DepartmentUp to 1 person per visit.
Obstetrics and Maternity1-2 support people, and they may be present at the same time.
Neonatal ICU (NICU), Pediatric ICU (PICU), Pediatrics2 designated support people, and they may be present at the same time.
Adult Inpatients1 support person per day.
Surgeries and ProceduresHospitals may allow 1 support person to wait in designated areas. Please ask your local hospital if a support person is allowed before the scheduled surgery or procedure.

General Visitation for Hospital Patients With COVID-19

TYPE OF PATIENTNUMBER OF VISITORS ALLOWED
Emergency DepartmentVideo visitation only.
Obstetrics and MaternityIf mom is COVID-19 positive, 1 support person is allowed.
Neonatal ICU (NICU), Pediatric ICU (PICU), Pediatrics2 designated support people, and they must be primary caregivers. May be present at the same time.
Adult InpatientsVideo visitation only.

Valley Children’s Hospital

The Madera County-anchored children’s hospital network revised its visitor’s policy on July 21 to allow two parents/caregivers per patient (including COVID+ patients) during their inpatient hospital stay.

Other visitors and non-essential vendors will not be allowed to enter.

Two parents/caregivers will also be allowed for patients having surgery and can stay with the patient until they are ready to be taken back to prepare for surgery and then again when patient is in recovery and preparing to be discharged.

Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.