For Immediate Release September 14, 2020

ED_Visitor Policy Change

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves in our region, SIH continuously evaluates all of our operational practices to ensure we are providing a safe environment for our team members, patients, and visitors. As a result, starting Wednesday, September 16th, SIH hospitals will change the process by which visitors enter the Emergency Departments (ED).

With the prevalence of positive COVID-19 patients continuing to grow, new processes are necessary to ensure appropriate universal masking, social distancing and disinfection measures. The following process change will be implemented in order to avoid potential overcrowding of our ED entrances and waiting areas:

  • If the patient has screened positive for COVID-19 symptoms, has confirmed COVID-19, and/or the provider is going to test for COVID-19, visitation is not permitted except in cases where the patient is unable to make their own healthcare decisions (i.e. pediatrics, dementia, etc.) The call charge nurse will determine these exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
  • When a patient presents to the ED with a visitor, the visitor will be screened to ensure they are not exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19. If they screen positive for symptoms, the visitor will not be allowed entry.
  • If the visitor screens negative for symptoms, they will be provided a temporary visitor badge and their name and phone number will be documented on a visitor form.
  • The visitor will be asked by the visitor screener to wait in their car or in an outside location until their loved one is placed in an ED room.
  • When the patient is placed in an ED room, the primary nurse will call the visitor at the number provided and inform them they can come back to the ED room.
  • At the ED entrance, the visitor screener will validate that the temporary visitor badge is present and escort the visitor to the patient’s ED room.

The current exceptions to the standing visitation restriction still apply and will be made at the discretion of the ED charge nurse. All visitors will be required to wear a mask and stay in the patient room for the duration of the ED stay, with exceptions being made for restroom visits and obvious emergencies.