Providence St. Mary hospital eases visitor restrictions for Phase 2

April 3, 2020 Providence News Team

Providence St. Mary eases visitor restrictions for Phase 2

Providence St. Mary Medical Center is easing visitor restrictions in response to Walla Walla County receiving approval to move into Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start program.

Patients now may have one adult support person accompany them to medical appointments, and hospitalized people may have one adult visitor.  All visitors and support people must be age 18 or over.

Patients under 18 can have an additional support person or visitor as well if approved by the patient’s physician. People who are determined by their physician to be likely to pass away also may have an additional visitor.

No visitors are permitted for patients who are COVID-19 positive or are under investigation for symptoms of possible COVID-19.

Patients, visitors and support people will be screened at the entrance and are required to bring and wear a mask or face covering. They should put their mask/face covering on at or before reaching the entrance, and wear it during the entire visit.

Patients who decline to be screened or mask will be asked to reschedule their appointment unless they are experiencing a medical emergency. Support people and visitors who decline to be screened or mask will not be allowed to enter.

Everyone is asked to practice good hand hygiene by regularly washing their hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer frequently throughout their visit.

The movement of visitors and support people will be limited to specific areas in the hospital: the cafeteria, Grounds and Grains coffee shop on the main level, the main lobby, north lobby, and Surgery and Procedure Center waiting room, provided there is adequate space for social distancing of 6 feet.

It is important to note that this is not “business as usual” and the support person/visitor may be asked to follow other specific instructions once they are inside to ensure social distancing and limit the number of people in waiting areas.

Providence St. Mary appreciates the public’s understanding and assistance with its efforts to maintain a safe environment for patients, visitors and staff.


Are visitors allowed at PSMMC?

Yes, visitors are allowed at PSMMC with some modifications to the standard visitation guidelines. One support person/visitor at a time is allowed per patient. Support persons/visitors must meet the following criteria:
a. Age 18 or older

b. Pass COVID-19 symptom screening upon entry

c. Wear a mask or cloth face covering for duration of visit

d. Practice proper hand hygiene

e. Visiting a patient not positive for COVID-19 (PUI), under investigation for COVID-19 (PUM), or in an isolation room.

May I bring someone with me to the emergency department or outpatient appointment?

Yes, patients may have one (1) support person/visitor aged 18 or older who does not have symptoms of COVID-19.

May I have visitors during my hospital stay?

You may have one (1) designated support person/visitor (aged 18 or older who does not have symptoms of COVID-19) at a time for the duration of your hospital stay.

May my support person/visitor leave and come back?

Yes. Visitors will be screened upon initial entry and given a new visitor pass for the day. Visitors will be re-screened each time they re-enter.

What are the alternative ways that I may communicate with my loved ones while hospitalized?

To minimize traffic through the hospital and promote continued safety in the community, alternative methods of connecting with hospitalized patients are still strongly encouraged in place of in-person visits.

Electronic tablets (iPads) are available for hospitalized patients upon request and can be checked out from the house administrative supervisor’s office for the duration of the patient’s stay. The following applications are installed on all tablets and are available for patient use with a personal account log-in: FaceTime, Google Duo, Skype, Zoom. Zoom is the preferred application for patients who do not have an established account with the above applications. Patients can connect to video calls using a Zoom meeting ID and password provided by their loved ones.

Incoming phone calls to inpatient rooms can be made via the PSMMC hospital operator at 509-897-3320.

What are the requirements of visitors?

A patient’s visitor/support person(s) must be an asymptomatic adult aged 18 or older. Visitors should practice proper hand hygiene and wear a face covering (cloth or disposable mask) for the duration of their time in the hospital.

Asymptomatic for COVID-19 is defined as the absence of fever, cough, difficulty breathing, recent fever, loss of taste or smell, direct exposure to COVID-19 or pending COVID-19 test. All patients, visitors and caregivers (staff) are screened for symptoms upon entrance to the facility.

Proper hand hygiene means regularly and thoroughly washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer (available in dispensers throughout PSMMC facilities) when soap and water are not readily available.

What if my visitor or I do not have a face covering/mask?

To continue to preserve our stock of PPE (personal protective equipment), all patients and visitors are advised to bring their own cloth or disposable face covering. If you do not have a face covering, a disposable mask will be made available to you upon entry to the building at the screening station.

May I have a different visitor each day?

Yes, patients may have more than one support person/visitor throughout their visit, provided only one support person/visitor is present at a time.

Where can I enter the hospital?

Access points to PSMMC have been restricted to allow for COVID-19 screening at all entries.

-         Emergency Department (ED): ED entrance on 5th Avenue. Press the silver intercom button for the ED Admitting Staff. Patients who answer “yes” to any of the COVID-19 screening questions will be re-routed to enter through the ambulance bay doors.

-         Surgery & Procedure Centerr: all entry, drop-off and pick-up is currently being routed through the Main Lobby facing Fifth Avenue.

-         Cancer Center: to protect our immunocompromised patients, Cancer Center patients may continue to enter through the Cancer Center entrance on Willow Street.

-         All other patients/visitors: Providence St. Mary Main Entrance facing Fifth Avenue.

Will I be able have my doula/midwife present during my labor and delivery in addition to my support person?

Yes, you may have an approved doula/midwife present for the labor and delivery of your baby in addition to one support person/visitor at the same time. The doula/midwife must be approved in advance of your delivery by the PSMMC Director of Women's Services or Senior Director of Acute Care Services.

Where can my support person wait while I am undergoing a procedure?

Support persons accompanying patients undergoing outpatient procedures are welcome to wait in any of the following areas that have been set up to accommodate social distancing:

- Cafeteria (PSMMC Lower-Level)
- PSMMC East Entrance Lobby

- PSMMC Poplar Street Lobby / Grounds & Grains Coffee Shop

- Outdoors or Off-campus

The support person will be contacted via the phone number they provide once the patient has been transferred to the outpatient recovery area.

What if I have an extenuating circumstance?

Exceptions to the one visitor restriction will be considered on a case-by-case basis in situations of pediatric patients (younger than 18 years old) or during end-of-life care. Requests for exceptions should be made to the house administrative supervisor (HAS) on duty and must be approved by two individuals within the following roles: director, executive officer or safety officer.

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