Intermountain hospitals have not allowed visitors since Friday, April 10, except for patients in specific circumstances, which included end-of-life, obstetric, newborn and pediatric patients. Also included were adult patients who required the assistance of another adult, according to an April Intermountain press release.
As of Friday, May 22, up to two visitors are now allowed for patients who do not have COVID-19 and are not suspected to have it, according to a recent Intermountain press release. This change applies to cancer and transplant patients, who were previously not allowed to have visitors, according to Holly Nelson, communications specialist for Intermountain.
“We recognize the comfort that visitors can bring to their loved ones during the healing and treatment process. We carefully balance that with the need to keep our patients, their loved ones, and caregivers safe and healthy during the current public health concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Shannon Phillips, chief patient experience officer for Intermountain Healthcare, in a press release.
Visitors over age 8 are allowed to visit, as long as they are accompanied by an adult, according to the release. Previously, visitors to patients in the categories mentioned above were required to be 18 or older, as noted in the April statement.
Visitors are still not allowed for patients who have COVID-19, the release says, unless they are end-of-life patients or under the age of 18. Select obstetric COVID-19 patients and COVID-19 patients who need the assistance of another adult may also have visitors, but specific parameters on these visits were not described in the release.
“We made these changes ... after looking internally at processes and deciding what’s best for the community and for our caregivers,” Nelson said. “It’s not tied to the (state’s move to) yellow status.”
End-of-life COVID-19 patients may have two total visitors, who may not switch places with other people, the release says. Both visitors must be over the age of 18, and they must wear protective equipment.
End-of-life patients who do not have COVID-19 may have two visitors at a time, with no more than four visitors during the patient’s time at the hospital. Unlike end-of-life patients with COVID-19, these patients may have visitors as young as 8 years old. All visitors must wear a mask.
Some visitor policies at Intermountain facilities will remain the same. Visitors will still be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and have their temperature checked, according to the recent release. These practices have been in place since Friday, April 10.
All visitors will also be required to wear a mask or other protective equipment, the release says. In addition, they’ll need to wash or sanitize their hands frequently and practice social distancing inside the facility.
Patients to Intermountain clinics and InstaCares are asked to come alone, if possible, according to the release. If they need to be accompanied, companions should be healthy and wear a mask, the release says.
Ogden Regional Medical Center adjusted its visitation policies a couple of weeks ago, according to Craig Bielik, spokesperson for the hospital.
For patients staying at Ogden Regional, the hospital currently allows one visitor per patient per day, Bielik said. That person can come and go, but cannot switch places with another person, he said.
For patients receiving outpatient care, one person is allowed to accompany the patient into the hospital while the patient registers, Bielik said. However, that visitor is asked to wait outside the hospital during patient’s test or procedure, he said. The companion is notified when the patient is finished and allowed to pick up the patient at the hospital’s main entrance, he said.
Davis Hospital and Medical Center did not immediately respond to a request for comment.