Hospital and Outpatient Visitation Policy

Skagit Regional Health provides outstanding care to the people of our communities. As we move through the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking all appropriate steps to ensure the safety of our patients, families, staff and providers including screening, masking and sanitizing.

We understand the important role that loved ones play in patients’ lives. To continue to protect our patients and employees during the outbreak of COVID-19, we have adjusted the number of visitors who may be with patients at Skagit Valley Hospital and Cascade Valley Hospital and in our clinic system.

All patients and visitors are required to wear a mask when coming to one of our facilities.

You will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon entry at our acute care hospitals and at the reception area of our clinics. Anyone with symptoms, including fever, new onset cough, shortness of breath or diarrhea, will not be allowed access to the hospitals and clinics and will be directed to the correct resource for care, including our Urgent Care facilities at Smokey Point or Riverbend.

Here are details of our current practices (effective June 24, 2020):

Skagit Valley Hospital and Cascade Valley Hospital

Patients who are not in isolation status may have one (1) consistent visitor in the hospital, subject to the restrictions and exceptions described below.

  • Patients at end-of-life may have two designated healthy adult visitors. Additional exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis when arranged in advance.
  • Patients in the Emergency Department may have one (1) person accompany them and should remain at the bedside with the patient.
  • Obstetric patients may have two (2) designated, healthy adult visitors (partner and birth support) when in labor; two hours after delivery only one support person will be able to remain at the bedside and the second person will be required to leave.
  • Children who are under 18 years of age may have two (2) designated healthy adult visitors. No minor visitors (under age 18) are allowed.
  • Patients undergoing a surgery or procedure may have one (1) visitor accompany them during check-in and the pre-op period. We ask that visitors do not wait in the facility during the procedure. The visitor will be called to return once the procedure is complete and the patient is in the appropriate post-recovery unit. 
  • Minors undergoing a surgery or procedure may have two (2) adult parents or guardians.

Visitors of hospitalized patients:

  • Visitors must be at least 18 years of age. Exceptions may be permissible for end-of-life patients.
  • Visitors are required to wear a mask while in the facility, including the patient rooms.
  • Visitors must be screened for symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, new onset cough, shortness of breath or diarrhea) prior to entering one of our hospitals. Visitors with symptoms will not be allowed entrance.
  • We request patients and visitors limit the number of personal items brought to the hospital.
  • Visitors should not gather or spend time in public areas, including hallways, lobbies and waiting areas, while in our facility to maintain social distancing. Visitors may purchase food or coffee in our café’s or coffee shops.
  • Visitors MUST wash hands or use hand sanitizer upon each entrance or exit of a patient room.
  • Patients should have the same person(s) visit for the entire stay. Changing of the designated visitor will be managed on a case-by-case basis and arranged in advance.
  • People who must exercise power of attorney or court-appointed guardianship for a patient are allowed to visit, if they are not the one designated visitor identified by the patient.

Special considerations for other visitors:

  • Medical professionals from clinics in close proximity to one of the hospitals may access the facility Café at Cascade Valley Hospital, Skagit Bistro at Skagit Valley Hospital, or the coffee shops.
  • Contracted vendors engaged by Skagit Regional Health may access the facilities.

Outpatient Clinics, Lab and Diagnostic Imaging Visitation Restrictions

Patients who have an appointment at an SRH clinic, laboratory or radiology, may have one (1) person with them.

  • Oncology Clinic restriction of visitors remains in place until further notice.

Visitors in our clinics:

We request that minor children (under age 18), who are not the patient, not be brought to an appointment. If necessary, minor children may accompany their parents into the facility, if healthy.

  • Visitors are required to wear a mask while in the facility, including the exam rooms.
  • Visitors must be screened for symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, new onset cough, shortness of breath or diarrhea) prior to entering one of our hospitals. Visitors with symptoms will not be allowed entrance. 

Public access to Skagit Regional Health’s hospitals is available at the following entrances:

Skagit Valley HospitalCascade Valley Hospital
Emergency Department Entrance - 24/7Emergency Department Entrance - 24/7
Main Entrance (north) - 5:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Kincaid Entrance (south) - Weekdays 5:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

What does “designated” visitor mean?

We ask families to designate one visitor for the duration of the stay. The hospital will provide a wristband for a designated visitor upon admission. Upon checking in at a screening location, the staff will call the patient care area to confirm a visitor band is available for that patient. If the band has not already been distributed, the visitor will report to the patient care unit. The patient care unit staff will apply the wristband when the visitor first arrives. The designated visitor may be changed with advance coordination of the unit leader, however, we respectfully request that changes be limited.

How can family and friends stay in touch with their loved one?

We recommend that you connect with your loved one and the healthcare team through technology. Hospital phones are available in patient rooms. Your loved one may also use their personal phones, computers and tablets to stay connected with you through audio and video chatting and texting. In the event your loved one cannot communicate, SRH staff will assist in communicating with the designated communication liaison for the patient.

Are children able to visit?

Children should not come to Skagit Regional Health while we have COVID-19 visitation restrictions except for end-of-life and other extreme situations where their presence has been approved. If you are approved to visit a loved one, please make arrangements for all children to be cared for away from Skagit Regional Health. Any non-patient child who comes to either hospital will be asked to leave with the adult who brought them. 

May I still send flowers, food, or other items to my loved one?

To help limit the number of people in our buildings, we ask that people not send flowers, food or other items that must be delivered.

How can I be sure that my loved one will be safely cared for during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Skagit Regional Health maintains a rigorous program around safety and cleanliness. Employees wash or sanitize their hands each time they enter and exit a patient’s room. They also wear Personal Protection Equipment (gown, gloves, face shields or goggles) when they enter the room of a patient with an infectious illness. Employees safely dispose of or clean these items before going into the next patient room to keep clothing free from germs so they may safely care for other patients. Skagit Regional Health is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and screening protocols in addition to following infection prevention best practices. We are also remaining in close communication with state and county public health officials to monitor the spread of the virus.

Please know that all hospitals and health systems regularly prepare for disease outbreaks, conduct regular preparedness drills and are able to adapt quickly to infectious disease outbreaks. We are always training our staff on how to protect patients and themselves as they care for patients.

What can I do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect myself and others?

  • Stay home when you are sick (fever, cough, upper respiratory infection symptoms, and diarrhea).
  • Wear a mask.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating, after coughing or sneezing, and after using the bathroom.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. The best way to cover your mouth and nose is to cough or sneeze into the elbow of your arm. Throw tissues away immediately and wash your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

What if my loved one or I need health care for other illnesses or injury?

During this time, our patients still need care for health conditions unrelated to the virus and Skagit Regional Health continues to serve and care for the needs of all patients whether you are giving birth, needing treatment or surgery or requiring life-saving emergency procedures. We are committed to providing the critical health services we typically offer and highly encourage people to not delay important care, routine appointments and screenings.

We appreciate your understanding during these uncertain times. We are confident that together we will continue to deliver the highest quality of care.

Updated: 7/21/2020