Hospitals allow more visitors, but with demands

The Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center is allowing more visitors to the patient room just before the holidays.

There are still a few hurdles visitors will need to overcome to keep everyone safe, from patients to hospital staff.

Patients will be able to receive two visitors at a time. However, to enter the hospital, visitors will need to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within the past 72 hours, or a vaccination card.

It comes after a change in a California state mandate that limited the number of visitors to hospitals.

Patients will also be able to change who visits. They are limited to a total of two visitors at a time, but there is no limit to the number of visitors that can visit per day.

Cindy Sullenger, home supervisor at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, says for many patients, the change is hitting close to home.

“These are the families who want to see their loved ones,” said Sullenger, “It’s so much easier to say you can change than just say, ‘Oh, you can only have one visitor. “”

The decision had a positive impact on patients and visitors alike, added Sullenger, stating: “They are so happy to be able to have more than one visitor. [especially when] people come to town. “

Visitors can provide documentation of a recent, negative COVID-19 test – including a PCR test or antigen test – or present their vaccination card in the lobby. The demands influenced some people to get shot, Sullenger said.

“They are considering the vaccination, either the Johnson and Johnson with one shot or Pfizer,” she said, also mentioning the booster shots that are now available.

Children are generally not allowed to visit, although they have made exceptions to the rule in special cases.

“We allow visits if it is a critical event or if something has happened,” Sullenger said. “We have allowed and made exceptions.”

When children visit, the hospital tends to conduct visits differently.

“We keep them separate. We have private rooms that we keep them in, and then they can quickly come in and then exit, ”Sullenger said. “We have allowed that and we are trying to keep them as safe as possible. “

Operated patients face various restrictions. They are only allowed one visitor per day, per visit.

Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 cannot have visitors, but the hospital says it is trying to get around that.

“We try to put them in rooms that have windows so that families can come to the windows and see their loved ones,” Sullenger told the KSBY team, explaining that medical staff can use FaceTime and Skype when not. cannot speak face to face. -to deal with.

Not all hospitals share the same policies and visitors are encouraged to check with the facility in advance.

The French hospital medical center told KSBY that it also allows two visitors per patient each time, although visitors can switch places. The hospital shares the obligation to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the past 72 hours.

At the French hospital, children under the age of 18 can visit patients, but they must also comply with the requirements.

There are also exceptions, including when patients are in critical condition. The hospital also told KSBY that in specific situations people may have a support person in the room.

A support person may be authorized for pediatric patients, during labor and delivery or for patients with specific disabilities.

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