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Visitor Guidelines

A Notice to our Visitors: All visitors are required to provide proof of a negative COVID test taken within the last 72 hours, or proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before visiting anyone in our care.

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Patient Visitation Guidelines for Hospitalized Inpatients

Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center are following CDC, state, and local guidelines as they relate to safe patient visitation. You are an important member of the care team for our patients. Following the guidelines below will make your visit as smooth as possible while keeping the environment safe for our patients and staff. 

All visitors are required to wear a well-fitting surgical mask while in the hospital, regardless of vaccination status. 

  • Acute Care Setting: Two visitors / Support Personnel are allowed per patient, not necessarily from the same household, provided that physical distancing can be accomplished and visitors comply with hospital visitor guidelines.
  • Limit to one visitor in areas that cannot accommodate two individuals (e.g., shared rooms, procedural areas).
  • Emergency  Department: No visitors except on a case-by-case basis for critically ill patients.
  • Behavioral Health Unit: Visitors should contact the Behavioral Health Department for current visitation guidelines.

Visiting Hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.  

Minor visitors over the age of 14 are allowed and must comply with all actions outlined in these guidelines. A minor must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. 

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 within 72 hours before each visit

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.

Unvaccinated or Incompletely Vaccinated Visitors

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

  1. Provide documentation of a negative SARS-CoV-2 test where the specimen collection occurred within 72 hours before each visit as feasible.
  2. Visitors may choose antigen or molecular (e.g., PCR) testing from a CLIA approved facility to satisfy the testing requirement. Home tests are not allowed. 
    • 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, when death may be imminent.
  • 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 72 hours.

Non-COVID Patients

Patients may have up to two visitors at a time, which includes caregivers and support persons, as long as they can maintain physical distancing and comply with hospital visitor guidelines. 

  • The Support People / Visitors may change throughout the day as long as only two Support People / Visitors are in the room at a time. 
  • Visitors / Support People do not need to be designated in advance.
  • Visitation times may change depending on the needs and status of the patient. 

COVID Patients

No visitation is allowed for routine COVID+ patients. An exemption can be made for end-of-life COVID+ patients, with approval from a Senior Director.

  • Those who are imminently dying / comfort care may have ONE visitor for 30 minutes, 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • This conversation should be documented in the patient’s medical record. This conversation must:
  • Emphasize that the risk of potential COVID-19 exposure for an unvaccinated visitor is significant;
  • Offer alternative options to an in-person visit (e.g., onsite facilitated visit via technology); and
  • Discourage visitors who are immunocompromised from an in-person visit.

Universal Masking / Social Distancing Reminders

  • All visitors must wear a well fitting, medical-grade surgical mask and abide by six-foot social distance throughout the hospital.
  • If a visitor arrives with a cloth mask, the surgical mask must go underneath the cloth mask to preserve the fit.
  • Continue to wear your mask in the cafeteria. When in common areas, you may remove your mask briefly when actively eating or drinking. 
  • 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, or any other designated area. Refrain from walking unnecessarily around the hallways.
  • 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.