Bellingham’s PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center will now allow visits to patients undergoing medical care.
On February 19, the hospital began allowing each non Covid-19 positive patient to have one designated visitor during their stay. Two visitors are allowed on a case-by-case basis for end-of-life patients, people under 18 years old and other people made at the discretion of PeaceHealth, according to the hospital. Previously, visitors weren’t allowed in the hospital to limit the spread of Covid-19.
“We recognize that having a loved one by a patient’s side is important during a hospital stay,” the media release said. “We believe these changes best balance comfort for our patients and families while still effectively safeguarding against the spread of Covid-19 for our patients, caregivers and the broader
Before entering a PeaceHealth facility, all visitors will be screened for a fever and Covid-19 symptoms. They will then be asked to stay with the patient and not wander through the healthcare facility, including the cafeteria, coffee shop, gift shop and chapel, according to the media release.
Visitors must also follow Covid-19 guidelines such as wearing a mask and washing hands frequently.
PeaceHealth Medical Group clinics, separate from the hospital, will not allow visitors unless they are needed to assist a patient who has physical or cognitive limitations. Clinic visitors will also be allowed at the clinic for important decisions on things such as obstetrics, palliative care, oncology and major procedural discussions.