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Visitor Guidelines

A Notice to Our Visitors: All visitors are required to provide proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated visitors must show documentation of a negative COVID-19 test collected within 48 hours before the visit if using PCR testing, or one day before the visit if using antigen testing.

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To protect patients and our staff from the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant of COVID-19, Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center have implemented new visitation guidelines. Effective January 7, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. no visitors are allowed in the facility except in limited situations.

Non COVID Positive Patients

Exceptions for non COVID-19 positive patients listed below must be authorized by the nursing supervisor. It is recommended that visitors wear a hospital issued N95 mask.

  • Emergency Department: In emergent situations one parent or guardian visitor of pediatric patients is allowed. One support person for a patient with physical, intellectual,developmental disability, or cognitive impairment may visit. If the patient stays for an extended amount of time, the one designated visitor may  switch.
  • Pediatrics: May have one parent or guardian.
  • Imminent End of Life: May have a total of two support persons/visitors a day.
  • Patients with Cognitive Impairments; and/or Physical, Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities: One continuous visitor is allowed.

Outpatient/Testing/Surgery/Procedures/Cath Lab: One support person/visitor may accompany the patient and must remain in designated waiting area unless instructed by staff. They cannot wait in the patient's room/space.

Behavioral Health Unit: Visitors should contact the Behavioral Health Department for current visitation guidelines.

COVID Patients

No visitation is allowed for non-critically ill COVID+ patients. An exemption can be made for critically ill COVID+ patients, with approval from a Physician (Intensivist or Hospitalist) in conjunction with the Administrator-On-Call.

  • An informed conversation must occur with the visitor and the designated hospital clinical staff (e.g., physician, RN, nursing supervisor, respiratory therapist) that outlines the risks, benefits and alternatives to an in-person visit. 
  • Goals of care arrangements and family meetings must be arranged by Palliative Care and Intensivist/Hospitalist. 
  • The number of personnel at the meeting can increase beyond the two-person visitation limit as long as universal masking and social distancing are followed. 
  • Those who are imminently dying / comfort care may have ONE visitor for 30 minutes in the room, with strict adherence to all hospital policies.
  • A clinically trained observer in Infection Control precautions (e.g., Bedside Nurse, Charge RN, MD) must be with the visitor at all times. 
  • Visitors should not be present in the room with a COVID-19 positive patient during an aerosol-generating procedure.
  • To enter the room, visitors should be provided with a PAPR/CAPR as a first choice as long as supplies permit. The next best option is an unfitted N95 mask with face shield, gown, gloves, & eye wear.
    • All PPE donning and removal must be supervised by the clinical observer.

Visitors

The California Department of Public Health requires visitors to show proof of vaccination. If unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, visitors must show documentation of a negative COVID-19 test collected 48 hours before the visit if using PCR or one day before the visit if using antigen testing.

Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center lobbies will be closed on the weekends. Approved visitors will use the following entrances on the weekend.
St. Mary’s Medical Center: Level A
Saint Francis Memorial Hospital: Emergency Department 

Options for Providing Proof of Vaccination:

  1. COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card (issued by the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control & Prevention or WHO Yellow Card) which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided, and date last dose administered;
  2. A photo of a Vaccination Record Card as a separate document;
  3. A photo of the client's Vaccination Record Card stored on a phone or electronic device;
  4. Documentation of COVID-19 vaccination from a health care provider.
  5. Digital record that includes a QR code that when scanned by a SMART Health Card reader displays to the reader client name, date of birth, vaccine dates and vaccine type.
  6. Support persons/ visitors may choose antigen or molecular (e.g., PCR) testing to satisfy the testing requirement. Home tests are not allowed at this time.

Unvaccinated or Incompletely Vaccinated Visitors

Visitors of acute care health care facilities that are incompletely vaccinated must:

  1. Provide documentation of a negative SARS-CoV-2 test where the specimen collection occurred within two days if using PCR or one day if using antigen testing before each visit as feasible. Testing result must include the name of the visitor.
  2. Visitors may choose antigen or molecular (e.g., PCR) testing to satisfy the testing requirement. Home tests are not allowed at this time. 
    • Any PCR or antigen test used must either have Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or be operating per the Laboratory Developed Test requirements by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Exempt Unvaccinated or Incompletely Vaccinated Visitors

The following individuals are exempt from the vaccination requirements:

  • Patient in critical condition for COVID+ patient on isolation precautions, when death may be imminent. See below COVID Patient Section.
  • Parent or legal guardian of pediatric patients.
  • Support person for a surgical patient or labor and delivery patient.
  • Support person for a patient with physical, intellectual, developmental disability, or cognitive impairment.

However, for subsequent visits following the emergent situation, and as soon as reasonably possible, these visitors must comply with the vaccine verification or applicable testing requirements within 48 hours.

Universal Masking /Social Distancing Reminders

  • It is recommended that visitors wear a hospital issued N95 mask.
    • If a visitor arrives with a cloth mask, the surgical mask must go underneath the cloth mask to preserve the fit.
  • All visitors regardless of vaccination status, must be screened for fever and COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering the facility. Anyone who has flu-like symptoms will be asked to leave and may return once recovered and 24-hours afebrile
  • Visitors should limit movement throughout the facility. Walk directly to and from the patient’s room. Refrain from walking unnecessarily around the hallways.
  • Visitors are not allowed in the cafeteria at this time.
  • Limit elevator usage to a maximum of four (4) people.

Virtual Visitation

All patients may request virtual visitation via the patient’s or family’s personal devices or through hospital-provided technology.