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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 COVID-19, Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center have updated the patient visitation guidelines.

Effective February 15, 2022 admitted patients (excluding COVID+ patients) may have two visitors daily between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. After hours visitation will be considered in special circumstances.

  • St. Mary’s Medical Center lobby is closed on the weekends. Visitors should enter at Level A. 

Visitation Exceptions for Non-COVID+ Patients

Exceptions for non-COVID-19 patients listed below must be authorized by the nursing supervisor.

  1. Emergency Department (ED): Patients may have one support person/visitor. Support persons may not change during the course of the ED visit unless approved by the charge nurse. Support persons must remain with the patient unless otherwise directed and are not allowed into other public places except the restroom and must comply with all PPE requirements. For end of life or critically ill ED patients the charge nurse may determine the number of visitors/support persons based on the patients need. If social distancing cannot be maintained in the lobby, clinical staff may request that visitors wait outside.
  2. Pediatrics: May have two continuous parents or guardians.
  3. Patients with Cognitive Impairments; and/or Physical, Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities: One continuous visitor may be allowed after hours upon approval of the nursing supervisor.
  4. End-of-Life

End-of-Life is defined as:

  1. A patient expected to survive less than seven days
  2. Patient on comfort care
  3. Patients with a challenging disposition to hospice as their next level of care.

End-of-life visitation:

  • End-of-life patients: two visitors may be allowed at the bedside upon request to the unit/ floor staff. Requests are dependent on the size of the room and patient acuity.
  • After hours: The number of visitors allowed is contingent upon approval of the nursing supervisor. Overnight is defined as hours outside normal visiting hours.
  • Goals of care arrangements and family meetings must be arranged by Palliative Care and Intensivist/Hospitalist.

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. 

Visitation for COVID+ Patients 

No in person visitation is allowed for non-critically ill COVID+ patients. An exemption can be made for critically ill COVID+ patients, with approval from a unit leader or nursing supervisor. 

  • COVID+ end-of-life patients: two visitors may be allowed at the bedside upon request to the unit/ floor staff. More than two visitors may be allowed based on the size of the room and patient acuity upon approval from the nursing supervisor. 
  • 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 may increase beyond the two-person visitation limit as long as universal masking and social distancing are followed. 
  • Visitors should not be present in the room with a COVID-19+ patient during an aerosol-generating procedure. 
  • To enter the patient’s room, visitors will be be provided with approved PPE
    • All PPE donning and removal must be supervised by a clinical observer. 

Virtual Visitation 

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

Visitor Vaccination Requirements 

The California Department of Public Health requires visitors to show proof of vaccination.
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 with vaccine type. 
  5. Support persons/ visitors may choose antigen or molecular (e.g., PCR) testing to satisfy the testing requirement. Tests must have documentation of the visitor’s name and date. 

Unvaccinated or Incompletely Vaccinated Visitors 

Visitors of acute care health care facilities that are incompletely vaccinated must show documentation of a negative SARS-CoV-2 test where the specimen collection occurred

  • within one day of visitation for antigen tests, and 
  • within two days of visitation for PCR tests and for which the test results are available at the time of entry to the facility. 

Testing results must include the name of the visitor. 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: 

  • Visitors of patients in critical condition when death may be imminent. See above Visitation for COVID+ Patients section if patient is COVID+.
  • 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.For visitors who visit for multiple consecutive days, proof of negative test is only required every third day. 

Universal Masking /Social Distancing Reminders 

  • It is required that visitors wear a hospital issued mask. 
  • No cloth masks are allowed. 
  • 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 may purchase food and eat in the cafeteria. They may not eat in the patient’s room. 
  • Limit elevator usage to a maximum of four people.