Visitor policy

February 28, 2022

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 visitation 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. 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.

Effective Thur. Feb. 24, 2022, at 8 a.m.:

  • Swedish visitation will allow for each patient to have one (1) patient supporter during their hospitalization. Exceptions apply and require discussion with nursing caregivers for pediatrics, antepartum, labor and delivery and postpartum. 
  • There may only be one (1) patient supporter in Swedish facilities per patient stay. Patient supporters are not allowed to wait inside (e.g., congregate in lobby). 
  • Persons found to be congregating 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 visitors/support individuals does not change exception criteria. Visitor restrictions will be followed regardless of vaccine status.
  • One designated patient supporter is permitted, provided they pass entry control screening (negative symptoms, no recent exposure, appropriate masking) and abide the guidelines for essential patient supporters. 

 In addition: 

  • End of life circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis for two patient supporters and must be highly coordinated with direct care nurse and campus leadership. 
  • Patient supporters for persons diagnosed with or under investigation for COVID-19 are not allowed unless approved on a limited case by case basis (refer to COVID-19 specific guidelines below). 
Information for essential patient supporters:
  • An essential patient supporter is someone who accompanies a patient to aid in their recovery and healing. This may be a friend or relative. Essential patient supporters should 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. 
  • Essential patient supporters are not permitted for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Visitation for one designated essential patient supporter will only be approved on a case-by-case basis by the direct care nurse, nurse manager or senior campus administrator. 
  • Essential 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 and 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. Your care team can provide more detailed information about guidelines for essential patient supporters for each of these areas. 

Guidelines for essential patient supporters:

  • COVID-19 vaccination is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED for all essential patient supporters entering this facility. Note that COVID-19 vaccination status does not change exception criteria.
  • The one designated essential patient supporter must be the same person for the entirety of the patient stay. It is not permitted to rotate patient supporters at this time.
  • All Swedish ICU/IMCU will only accept essential patient supporters by appointment.
  • Must enter through each campus’ entry control points.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age (no underage siblings).
  • Must be screened, be free of any COVID-19 symptom(s) within the last 24 hours and must be without a fever and with no known exposures to COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • Must wear an isolation mask and always follow physical distancing protocols while in the facility. Wearing personal masks is encouraged, however, N95 masks with a valve, scarves, bandanas, and neck gaiters are not permitted. Anyone wearing prohibited masks will be asked to remove them and replace with a provided medical mask. Medical masks will be provided if personal masks are unavailable. For supporters unable to wear a face mask, face shields will be provided and required to be worn in place of a mask. Designated patient supporters who are not compliant with masking, may be asked to leave the facility at any time.
  • 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 6 feet, from patients, caregivers, and other visitors. When in small spaces or where there is increased occupancy for a short period of time and 6-foot spacing cannot be maintained between individuals (e.g., in an elevator), all individuals must be masked.
  • Although discouraged, food and drink are permitted to be brought inside patient rooms. Essential patient supporters may eat in patient rooms in the case they are staying for longer periods of time. If essential patient supporters are eating in the room, they must stop and mask whenever a caregiver enters the room. They should also be physically distanced from the patient. Essential supporters should always wear a mask at all other times and practice hand hygiene before and after eating. Patient supporters may order food from nutrition services to be sent to patient room.
  • Upon entry, must go directly to-and-from the patient’s location and are not permitted to wait or lounge areas or hallways. If necessary, and at the unit’s discretion, a patient supporter may leave the unit and premises, and are permitted to return on the same day for additional visits.  
  • 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.
  • 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 excluded.
  • Designated supporters of patients undergoing aerosol generating procedures may be asked to leave or wear additional PPE during the procedure.

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.

If you have questions, please contact your care team.

No Previous Articles

Next Article
Safety Updates
Safety Updates

Your safety is our number one priority. Learn how are keeping our hospitals safe.