Visitor policy

July 20, 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.

To keep our hospitals and facilities as safe as possible, we continue to restrict well-wishing visitors who are visiting loved ones in-person. Patients admitted to the hospital for inpatient care or hospitalization may have one patient supporter/visitor at a time. Visitors may rotate out one at a time (no set max for visitors). 

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.

As experts report the reduction of COVID-19 cases in our area, and because there sometimes is no substitute for in-person support and compassion, Swedish’s Visitor Policy will be adjusted.

Effective Fri., July 16, 2021 at 8 a.m.:

  • Patients admitted to the hospital for inpatient care or hospitalization may have one patient supporter/visitor at a time. Visitors may rotate out one at a time (no set max for visitors).

Effective Thurs., June 3, 2021 at 8 a.m.:

  • Patients who are end of life may have two patient supporters at a time (no set maximum but must rotate out/only two at a time) for non-COVID patients.
  • End of life COVID-19 patients may have two patient supporters, however end of life circumstances may be considered on a case-by-case basis and must be highly coordinated to ensure the safety of all parties.
  • Pediatric surgical patients may now have two patient supporters present (parent/guardian).
  • Pediatric patients visiting our clinics may now have two patient supporters present

Information for patient supporters

patient supporter is someone who accompanies a patient to aid in their recovery and healing. Patients who require hospitalization may have one patient supporter at a time. Patient supporters planning to visit patients in the Intensive Care Unit should call in advance to arrange a time with the patient’s care team.

Upon registration, the patient may identify one individual to serve as their initial patient supporter during visiting hours only. All patient supporters:

  • Must enter through a designated entry control point.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Must be screened for and free of all COVID-19 symptoms within the last 24 hours.
  • 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.
  • 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 whenever 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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