Restrictions are back at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital after a rise in COVID-19 cases in Yakima.

COVID-19 INCREASES ARE DRIVING THE POLICY

Hospital officials say the hospital is now limiting access to the facility to "patients, identified and approved support persons, staff, and essential vendors. Screening will occur of all patients, support people who enter through the approved entrance." That means the hospital is suspending most in-person visits to patients. They say the decision to suspend visits wasn't easy but necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19. Hospital officials urge people to use alternative ways to talk to loved ones and friends in the hospital like phone calls, Facetime or Skype.

THERE ARE EXEMPTIONS TO THE NEW POLICY

The hospital however realizes there are times when people need a visitor. They say exemptions may be made for the following circumstances:

Non-Covid Patients who are at the end of life may have two to three visitors each day.

All patients in Critical Care status (COVID positive or not) may be allowed to have 1 visitor each day. If COVID positive, this one visitor must be the same person each day.

Covid Patients or suspected Covid patients (withdrawal of care where death is imminent) may be moved to a private room and have 2-3 visitors for extubation and visitation. (Please reference the Standard Process for Withdrawal of Life Support for COVID-19 Patients)

• Patients undergoing surgery or procedures may have one single-time visitor immediately after the procedure, prior to transfer to inpatient unit. Pediatric patients may have both parents accompany the patient.

• Patients with limited decisional capacity may have a parent or guardian present.

• Patients who have altered mental status or developmental delays (where caregiver provides safety) may have one visitor.

• Patients with disruptive behavior, where a family member is key to their care, may have one visitor.

• Obstetric patients may have one support person per day

MANDATED VACCINES FOR EMPLOYEES ARE ON THE WAY

The hospital is also following orders from the governor for mandated vaccines for health care workers.

 "Yakima Valley Memorial will follow the governor’s mandate. As the only acute care hospital in Yakima, we have an obligation to assure the health and safety of our workforce so that we can continue to serve the community.

We will require all providers, employees, volunteers, students and contracted employees to be fully vaccinated by October 18. (Full vaccination is reached two weeks after the final dose.)"

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