Visitor policy

October 21, 2021

As COVID-19 continues to be a concern in the Puget Sound, Swedish remains committed to the safety of our patients and community members. In response, we have created data-driven policies and will continue to adjust guidelines to best align with the evolving climate of COVID-19. Safety and high-quality care for our patients is our highest priority and we require universal masking, hand hygiene, physical distancing and screening protocols for all persons entering our facilities. COVID-19 vaccination is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED for all visitors entering this facility.

To keep our hospitals and facilities as safe as possible, we continue to restrict well-wishing visitors who are visiting loved ones in-person. However, we understand our patients also have many medical needs requiring compassionate care and we recognize the support of loved ones is vital to recovery. We fully support virtual visiting methods and will continue to promote creative ways for patients to connect with loved ones. Because there sometimes is no substitute for in-person support and compassion, Swedish’s Visitor Policy will be adjusted.

Effective Fri., Sept. 3, 2021 at 8 a.m.:

  • Patients admitted to the hospital for inpatient care or hospitalization may have one patient supporter/visitor during their hospitalization.
  • There may only be one patient supporter in Swedish facilities per patient stay. Patient supporters are not allowed to wait inside (e.g., congregate in the lobby). Persons who congregate inside will be asked to leave the facility or wait outside. 
  • All Swedish ICU/IMCU will only be accepting patient supporters by appointment. 
  • COVID-19 vaccination status for patient supporters/visitors does not change exception criteria. Visitor restrictions will be followed regardless of vaccine status.

Information for patient supporters

patient supporter is someone who accompanies a patient to aid in their recovery and healing. Patients need to inform their patient supporter(s)/visitor(s) and coordinate visits one at a time. This may be a friend or relative. Please be aware that any close contact could spread COVID-19 to your loved one, even before you feel sick. Please do not hug, kiss or share food or drink with your loved one as this could be very dangerous and even deadly to the person you are here to support. 

For hospitalized patients recovering from COVID-19 or patients under investigation for COVID-19, visits should be restricted. Visitation for one designated patient supporter will only be approved on a case-by-case basis by the direct care nurse, nurse manager or senior campus administrator. See our full visitation guidelines for patients with COVID-19.  

Patient supporters planning to visit the Intensive Care Unit should call in advance to arrange a time with the patient’s care team.

*Our Emergency Departments, Women’s and Children’s, SMC clinics, Imaging, Radiology, Lab, Surgical Services, and SMG/Ambulatory areas have set specific restrictions for limiting patient supporters and patient supporters may not always be allowed. You can find detailed visitor guidelines for each of these areas in the link below. 

We continue to permit essential patient supporters needed for mobility assistance, interpretation (until interpreter can be assigned for medical advice) and emotional or medical decision-making support as long as they pass a screening. 

All patient supporters:

  • COVID-19 vaccination STRONGLY  RECOMMENDED for all visitors entering this facility.
  • Must enter through a designated entry control point.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age (no underage siblings).
  • Must be screened for and free of all COVID-19 symptoms within the last 24 hours, fever-free and have no known exposures to COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • Must wear a mask and follow physical distancing protocols while in the facility. Medical masks will be provided if a personal mask is not available. For visitors unable to wear a face mask, face shields will be provided and required to be worn in place of a mask. Prohibited face coverings include:
    • N95 masks with a valve
    • Scarves
    • Bandanas
    • Neck gaiters
  • Must practice hand hygiene with provided hand sanitizer. Anyone wearing medical gloves at entries must remove the gloves, keep them off while inside the facility, and practice hand hygiene.
  • Must practice physical distancing of at least six feet from patients, caregivers and other visitors. 
  • May consume food and drink inside patient rooms, but visitors are encouraged to physically distance from the patient while eating. If visitors are eating in the room, they must stop and mask when a caregiver enters the room.
  • Are not permitted to wait in the waiting room or other areas. They must go directly to and from the patient’s location.
  • Must use designated public restrooms on the unit and may not use patient restrooms.
  • Must leave and exit the premises at the request of the direct care nurse or nurse manager, if needed.
  • Must only visit during campus visiting hours.
  • Overnight stays are restricted and only permitted if coordinated with direct care nurse or nurse manager. Shared patient rooms are prohibited.

General visitation guidelines

All visitors are required to follow universal masking, hand hygiene and physical distancing, and must be screened for symptoms upon entry. Each person must attest to being COVID-19 symptom-free within the last 24 hours and confirm that they have not been exposed to COVID-19 within the last 14 days. 

COVID-19 symptoms include: (symptoms subject to change)

  • Fever over 100°   
  • Chills   
  • New cough   
  • Sore throat   
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing  
  • Muscle or body aches (myalgias)  
  • Fatigue/feeling ill/malaise  
  • New loss of smell or taste  
  • New or unusual congestion/runny nose  
  • Nausea/diarrhea/vomiting  
  • New or unusual headache  

The health and safety of our patients and caregivers is our top priority. These restrictions will be in place until COVID-19 transmission is no longer a threat to our community, or until guidance from public health authorities changes.

For more information about department-specific visitor guidelines, please read our updated visitor policy. If you have questions, please contact your care team.

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