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Hospitals limit visitors for patients due to COVID-19

Mail Tribune/File photo Most patients at Providence and Asante hospitals can have only one visitor due to COVID-19 concerns.
Most patients can have only one visitor

Providence Medford Medical Center has put limits on hospital visitors during the current COVID-19 surge, and Asante is continuing with visitation limits it already had in place at its three Rogue Valley hospitals.

As of Wednesday, most patients could have one designated visitor per stay at a Providence hospital, the Providence Oregon network of hospitals announced.

“We understand that limiting visitors is difficult for people with sick family and friends in the hospital. Thank you for understanding as we do our best to balance your loved one’s need for connection with the need to keep everyone safe,” Providence said when announcing the updated policy.

Most patients can have only one visitor when they are inpatients in hospital beds, getting care in an emergency department or at the hospital for an outpatient procedure, Providence said.

“As the omicron variant continues to spread quickly in our communities, we are now limiting visitors to one per stay for most patients — with a few exceptions. The new policy takes effect Wednesday, Jan. 26,” Providence said.

Child patients can have two designated visitors, and pregnant women can have two visitors during labor and delivery, Providence said.

There are also exceptions to the one visitor per patient policy for people with disabilities, plus those in behavioral health inpatient beds who are getting care for mental health issues, Providence said.

All visitors must be at least 16 years old when seeing patients who can receive more than one visitor, Providence said.

Everyone has to wear a mask and maintain distance from others, Providence said.

Asante already had a one visitor per patient policy in effect before the current COVID-19 surge. Asante is continuing that policy, said spokeswoman Lauren Van Sickle.

Like Providence, Asante has exceptions.

Babies and children in pediatric and neonatal intensive care units can have two parents or guardians at a time. Two visitors are allowed during labor and delivery, or when a patient is receiving end-of-life care, Van Sickle said.

Patients in Asante’s behavioral health unit may also have more visitors, including court-appointed visitors and legal counsel, she said.

“To encourage safety, all visitors must complete a screening process and wear a mask when inside our facilities. Visitors under age 18 are not allowed,” Van Sickle said.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.