UW Medicine hospitals suspend patient visits amid rise in coronavirus cases

UW Medicine hospitals suspend patient visits amid rise in coronavirus cases

SEATTLE — If you have a friend or family member at a UW Medicine hospital, you may no longer be able to pay them a visit.

Routine patient visits have again been suspended at all UW Medicine hospitals starting Wednesday, including UW Medical Center’s Montlake and Northwest campuses, Harborview Medical Center and Valley Medical Center. UW Medicine hospitals took the same precaution in March.

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The policy will be in place until the spread of COVID-19 is no longer a threat.

There are exceptions to the policy. In those cases, visitors will only be allowed if they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 and cannot have tested positive or been in contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks. They also must follow mask requirements and are required to stay in the patient’s room for the entire visit. Once they leave the room, they must leave the hospital.

In addition, children under 16 won’t be allowed unless there are extraordinary circumstances.

Exceptions for inpatient visitors include:

  • Patients who are under the age of 18 may have 1 visitor, or parent or guardian.
  • Obstetrics patients may have 1 healthy support person with them during labor. Before and after labor, patients may have 1 visitor. Patients may bring their newborns to their postpartum clinic visits.
  • Patients who need a caregiver for safety because of their mental status, developmental status or for their disability, such as blindness and/or hearing loss, may have 1 caregiver.
  • Patients undergoing surgery or procedures may have 1 visitor. Once the surgery or procedure is over and the physician has discussed the findings with the visitor (as appropriate), the visitor must leave the medical center.
  • Patients may have a home caregiver who needs to be trained as their single visitor.
  • Patients who are visiting the Emergency Department may have 1 person with them.
  • Community-based care providers who are involved in the care of the patient may visit in addition to the patient’s 1 visitor for support and care continuity.
  • Patients who are at the end of life may have 2 visitors.

Outpatient clinics will allow visitors based on the following exceptions:

  • Patients under the age of 18 may have 1 adult accompany them.
  • Other patients who need a caregiver due to a disability may have 1 adult accompany them.
  • Postpartum patients may bring their newborns.