SALT LAKE CITY — After a recent increase in novel coronavirus cases, positive test rates and hospitalizations in Utah, Intermountain Healthcare is again tightening restrictions for visitors at its hospitals and clinics.
Intermountain introduced COVID-19-related visitor restrictions in March and tightened them in April. In late May, the restrictions were loosened. New restrictions announced Friday will not allow visitors in most circumstances. Exceptions are made for patients who are children, mothers in labor, adults who need assistance and those who are "at the end of life."
Starting Monday at 7 a.m., no visitors will be allowed in hospitals and emergency rooms with the following exceptions, according to Intermountain:
- Patients younger than 18 may designate a maximum of two visitors throughout their stay, with a maximum of one visitor at a time.
- Patients who need an adult to keep them safe may designate a maximum of one healthy visitor throughout their stay.
- Mothers in labor may have a maximum of one designated visitor throughout their stay.
- Healthy newborns may only have both parents visit while in the hospital.
- For patients at the end of life without suspected or active COVID-19, a maximum of two visitors will be allowed at a time, with no more than four designated visitors total while in the hospital. These visitors must be older than 12 and must wear a mask or cloth face covering.
- For patients at end of life with suspected or active COVID-19, up to two total designated visitors will be allowed while in the hospital. These two designated visitors may not switch out with other individuals and must be older than 12. Specific protective equipment must be worn by visitors in this circumstance.
"A 'designated visitor' may not switch with other individuals through the course of a hospital stay. For example, if the designated visitors for a patient younger than 18 are the mother and father, the father may not switch with a grandparent," Intermountain noted in a press release announcing the changes.
Visitors who are approved must follow these guidelines:
- Be in good health. We don’t allow visitors with signs of illness or who have active COVID-19 or a pending COVID-19 test result.
- Complete a screening at the front entrance of the facility. This screening includes a short series of questions about symptoms and a temperature check performed by greeters at all facility entrances.
- Wash their hands or use alcohol sanitizer. We ask that this is done before and after entering or leaving our facilities and rooms to prevent the spread of viruses on high-touch areas.
- Maintain social distance from others while in the facility. This includes staying six feet away from other guests and avoiding gathering in waiting rooms, lobbies, or entrances.
- Wear appropriate protective equipment. All visitors must wear a face covering and are encouraged to bring their own cloth face coverings or masks. For some circumstances, masks and other protective equipment will be provided.
At InstaCare and clinics, Intermountain asks patients to come alone to appointments unless a "companion" is necessary — in cases such as minors or adults requiring assistance.