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Intermountain Healthcare updates visitor guidelines at Utah facilities

Mar 19, 2022, 5:08 PM
FILE PHOTO (KSL-TV)...
FILE PHOTO (KSL-TV)
(KSL-TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Officials at Intermountain Healthcare announced they will be relaxing some of the visitor guidelines at their Utah hospitals and clinics due to lower COVID transmission rates in the state.

The changes went into effect Friday, March 18.

“We’re proceeding with caution. Even in a period of lower COVID transmission, there is still risk of transmission of COVID to our vulnerable patients in our facilities. Visitors still need to follow some precautions to keep our patients safe,” said Eddie Stenehjem, MD, Intermountain Healthcare infectious diseases physician.

Updated guidelines are as follows:

  • Intermountain hospitals:
    • Sick visitors aren’t allowed to visit.
    • Hospital visitation allowed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    • Visitors can be any age.
    • People aren’t allowed to visit if they have someone in their home with an active communicable disease like COVID, norovirus, or influenza.
    • Some units and clinics may have more restrictive visitation policies based on limitations of unit/room size and vulnerable patients.
    • For visitors, masks are optional while visiting with the patient but are still required when in areas where they may encounter other patients, such as hospital hallways, nurses’ station, or the cafeteria. Proof of vaccination won’t be required.
    • Maximum number of visitors at the bedside is determined at the discretion of the care team.
    • Visitors shouldn’t visit if they have any of the following and haven’t met the same criteria used to discontinue isolation and quarantine for patients:
      • A positive viral test for SARS-CoV-2
      • Symptoms of COVID-19
      • Has had close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection
  • Visitors in Emergency Departments (EDs, also known as Emergency Rooms or ERs) and Intensive Care Units (ICUs)
    • Visitation may be more limited because of facility resources and patient treatments. More information will be made available upon arrival.
  • Visitation – NICUs (high risk populations)
    • No children under 5 years old.
    • Siblings/children under 12 may visit if they’re up to date on all childhood vaccines and if they’re COVID-vaccinated.
    • Visitors must wear a mask in the unit but may take them off to be with their child/patient when caregivers aren’t at the bedside.
    • Maximum number of visitors at one time at the bedside is two. Clergy and doulas don’t count toward maximum.
  • Visitation – BMT (high risk populations)
    • All visitors will wear a mask if/when feasible, especially when around staff or other patients.
    • Visitors will be screened upon entry to determine if they’ve had a recent COVID positive test, exposure, or symptoms.
  • Visitation at Intermountain clinics, InstaCares, and Primary Children’s outpatient clinics
    • No restrictions on the number of people accompanying the patient.
    • Patients and visitors will continue to mask in patient care areas.
  • Visitors of patients that ARE COVID-19 POSITIVE (or are suspected to be positive):
    • One designated visitor of a COVID positive or suspected adult patient per day; two designated visitors of a COVID positive or suspected pediatric patient per day. Visitors of COVID patients will be asked to wear personal protective equipment provided by the facility. The staff present will assist with how to use it properly to ensure safety.
    • Visitors will be asked to wear personal protective equipment provided by the facility. The staff present will assist with how to use it properly to ensure safety.

“Moving forward, we will continue to monitor the risk of COVID-19 closely and will adjust our visitor guidelines as appropriate to keep our patients, visitors and caregivers safe. If you have a question about our visitation guidelines, please contact us,” read a statement on Intermountain Healthcare’s website.

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Intermountain Healthcare updates visitor guidelines at Utah facilities