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Samaritan Revises Visitor Restrictions

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This article was updated Nov. 23, 2020.

Samaritan Health Services has modified the temporary visitor restrictions, in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for all hospitals and facilities.

Hospitalized and emergency department patients may have one healthy visitor over the age of 12 per day, with the following exceptions:

  • Laboring mothers are allowed one visitor for the duration of their stay.
  • Patients under the age of 18 will be allowed two parent or guardian visitors per day.
  • Patients will be allowed a caregiver or attendant if necessary for language or disability assistance.

Patients at the end of life, as determined by their medical providers, will not be specifically limited to the restrictions listed above. In end-of-life situations, the care team will coordinate with patients or their designated representatives and/or family members to determine visitation plans based on each patient’s condition, patient’s preference, availability of personal protective equipment, and physical space constraints of the hospital room.

Those not admitted as inpatients will be allowed one visitor only if needed for assistance due to a mental or physical disability. This applies to outpatient appointments at all hospitals, clinics and other facilities.

To assure the highest standards of safety for patients, visitors, clinicians and staff, and to limit the spread of coronavirus, Samaritan Health Services will implement updates to face mask requirements starting Tuesday, Nov. 24. Patients, visitors, and all staff in any Samaritan facility will now be required to wear properly fitting face masks, rather than simply face coverings. 

Patients and visitors may use disposable face masks or cloth masks with multiple layers, and the masks must fit snugly around the nose, over the mouth and under the chin. Bandannas, gaiters, face shields and face masks with valves are not permitted.

For hospital inpatients, face masks may only be removed if:

  • The patient is actively eating or drinking and is physically distant – at least six feet – from anyone who does not live in the patient’s household. 
  • The patient is alone in a private room. 
  • The patient is physically distant – at least six feet – from others in a shared room.
  • The care being provided to the patient cannot be done with a mask on.

For outpatients, such as in Samaritan’s clinics and laboratories, face masks must be worn the entire time they are in the building and may only be removed if the care being provided cannot be done with a mask on. 

Exemptions to these masking requirements include children younger than 2 years old, patients whose clinician has determined that they cannot wear a mask due to shortness of breath, and patients who are unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Every person is required to sanitize their hands, wear a mask and abide by all other infection prevention measures. Additional screening precautions may be required and additional facility rules may apply.

Learn more about Samaritan’s procedures related to the COVID-19 pandemic at samhealth.org/Coronavirus.