Southwest Washington

February 20, 2023 Providence Health Team

Feb. 20, 2023 - Providence-Swedish permitting limited visitation at hospitals and clinics in South Puget Sound; moves to self-screening at hospital entrances

At Providence-Swedish South Puget Sound hospitals and clinics, our patient care philosophy depends greatly on engaging families to be part of the healing process. However, patient and caregiver safety are our top priority as we depend on our healthy caregiver workforce to care for all who come through our door.

As of Monday, Feb. 20, we are updating our screening policy. Until further notice we will be permitting limited visitation for inpatients at Providence Centralia and St. Peter hospitals and moving to self-screening at hospital entrances.

Over the past two years, Providence Swedish hospitals have learned to manage COVID-19 and have strong protocols in place to keep our patients and caregivers safe. Starting Oct. 24, everyone will be asked to self-screen and mask at Providence St. Peter and Centralia hospitals.

Although our entrances will no longer be staffed, signs at each entrance will offer clear instructions for patients and visitors. 

By entering the hospital, people will confirm:

  • They do not have COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms
  • They haven’t been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 10 days

Visitors who don’t meet the guidelines should not visit until symptoms are resolved.

The visitor policy remains unchanged, and the hospitals will continue limit visitors to 2 per patient, require universal masking, hand hygiene and physical distancing for all those entering our facilities. Hospital masks and hand sanitizer stations will also be available at each entrance. 

The move to self-screen is in line with new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines while still following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on regulatory compliance and follows the shift on how health-care organizations as well as businesses, schools and government agencies are responding to relaxed COVID-19 restrictions in their communities. However, the safety of our patients and community members will always be paramount and we will adjust guidelines as needed to best align with the evolving climate of COVID-19.

Thank you for your assistance in this new phase of managing COVID-19 in our facilities. 

  • Visitation hours 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; 2 visitors allowed at a time during each two-hour time block.

  • Patients at Providence Medical Group clinics are permitted to have one support person accompany them to their visit.
  • Hospital pediatrics patients (under age 18): Two (parents/guardians) will be allowed to visit.
  • No in-person visitation is permitted for COVID-positive patients (exceptions noted below)

Emergency Department patients may have one essential support person for an entire emergency department stay.

Obstetric patients may have two support partners and one birth support person (doula) to accompany them. The partners may stay the entire time. The doula must leave the hospital once the patient leaves the labor room. COVID positive laboring mothers may have one essential support person during labor and delivery. The essential support person must remain masked and not leave the patient room. 

Special Care Nursery patients may have two parents/guardians. No siblings allowed.

Critical Care Unit, Medical & Surgical Inpatient Units, Continuous Observation Unit (COU)

  • If an Essential Support Person is deemed necessary beyond normal visitation hours, a plan of care will be coordinated.
  • Patients who are COVID-postive or a Person Under Investigation (PUI) are not allowed to have Visitors/ESP with the exceptions of End of Life, Pediatrics, and Women's and Children's Services

End-of-life visitation

  • Non-COVID In-patients who are at the end-of-life (expected to pass away within 12-24 hours) may have two visitors at a time.
  • End-of-life COVID-positive patients may have an in-room visit. May be limited to 30 minutes under certain circumstances, to maintain visitor safety. 2 visitors allowed at a time. Nurses will provide education to visitors for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). If patients are in a shared room, in-person visitation will be allowed only if both patients are on ventilators.


Hospital masking update:

Based on current CDC recommendations because of the easily spread Omicron variant of COVID-19, Providence will no longer allow visitors/patients to don personally sourced cloth masks, as they may only have one layer.
All visitors will be given a level 1 procedural (surgical) mask – as they have 3 layers of protection – at all screening points.

We appreciate your understanding during these challenging times.

Our goal is to protect you, your loved ones, and our staff.


Patient Belongings

With limited visitation, we ensure the safety of the belongings of our patients. Please note, only the following are allowed:

  • Discharge clothes
  • Electronics for communication such as a phone, charger, or tablet/pad/laptop
  • Items specifically requested by a nurse (such as hearing aids, glasses, contacts, dentures)
  • Flower deliveries -- NO LILLIES OR LATEX BALLOONS
  • Medications (MUST be approved and picked up by nurse)

Patients in delivery going to the Family Birth Center are allowed to bring in additional items (i.e. baby clothes, birthing equipment, car seat, etc.).


Patients and members of the community who wish to contact Providence SW facilities with the assistance of a qualified interpreter free of cost may dial 833-640-1418.

About the Author

The Providence Health Team brings together caregivers from diverse backgrounds to bring you clinically-sound, data-driven advice to help you live your happiest and healthiest selves.

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