Kootenai cares about the health and well-being of our patients and caregivers. Given that COVID-19 is circulating in our community, we must ensure the safety of our facilities and our ability to care for as many patients as possible. Safety is our top priority during this time.
Due to the high testing positivity rate for COVID-19 in our community and the number of positive patients in the hospital, in order to keep our patients and health care providers safe, Kootenai Health has implemented some necessary visitor restrictions.
Visitors who are allowed, as described below, must meet the following criteria:
- Masking: ALL visitors over the age of two must wear a mask covering their nose and mouth.
- Visitors are required to wear a mask at all times while on our campus.
- A visitor who does not wear a mask continuously and properly during a visit will first be given a warning and reminded of the universal masking expectations. If, after a warning, they continue to violate the mask policy, they may be removed by security and added to a no-visit list.
- If an egregious violation of Kootenai Health’s masking policy occurs at any time, security may be contacted, and the visitor may be removed immediately.
- Age: No visitors under 18 (except end of life situations).
- Temperature: Not elevated.
- No Symptoms: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, headache, congestion, runny nose and GI symptoms, like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
- Has not been in close contact with a person who is known to be COVID-19 positive.
- Has not been exposed to a person who is known to be positive and is now in quarantine.
- Is not waiting on a COVID-19 test result.
- Has not tested positive for COVID-19 within 10 days of visit and has no symptoms.
Patients are allowed one visitor per day in the following areas:
- Inpatient, except if the patient is COVID positive, or waiting on a COVID test result.
- Outpatient Cardiac and Surgical Patients, except if the patient is COVID positive, or waiting on a COVID test result.
Additional visitor accommodations:
- Family Birth Center mothers: (beginning 2/25/2021) May be one support person, one additional visitor and also a certified doula (proof of certification required). This is for labor and delivery rooms only. Once in postpartum area, visitors are limited to one support person.
- Pediatric Patients (age 17 and under, including NICU Patients): May be accompanied by two parents or guardians.
- Patients who are at the end of life (EOL): May have four visitors in a 24-hour period, with two visitors at a time. EOL status will be determined by the care team and refers to a patient who is near death and not expected to survive the hospitalization.
- Patients who request spiritual support: A member of the spiritual community is encouraged to provide support virtually, but is allowed to be present in addition to the one visitor.
- Behavioral Health patients may have visitation through technology only.
In all cases, each unit manager has the discretion to limit the duration of a visit based on clinical considerations.
This policy may be modified or updated based on organizational needs.
Emergency Department and Outpatient Hospital (e.g. testing, surgery, rehabilitation):
- May have 1 caregiver visitor (an individual who the care teams deem necessary for optimal care and for patient safety) in a 24-hour period because of their mental or developmental status or for their disability, such as hearing loss or vision impairment.
- Minor patients are allowed 2 parents/guardians in a 24-hour period.
- EOL patients may have 4 visitors in a 24-hour period, 2 visitors at a time.
Outpatient Clinic and Urgent Care Visitor Exceptions: 1 necessary caregiver (an individual who the care team deems necessary for optimal care and for patient safety) or 2 parents/guardians of a minor patient is allowed based on patient-specific needs.
Kootenai Health asks that all patients and visitors begin wearing a cloth face covering before entering any patient care buildings:
- Kootenai Health hospital
- All Kootenai Clinic locations
- Kootenai Urgent Care locations
- Kootenai Health Rehabilitation Services locations
Wearing a face covering helps everyone keep their germs to themselves and prevents the spread of illness especially among those who may not be aware they have it.
Visitors within any Kootenai Health buildings are required to keep a properly fitting mask over their nose and mouth at all times. Visitors who do not comply will be reminded of our policy. If a visitor continues to violate this policy after warning, the visitor will be asked to leave the premises and security may be contacted.
- Cloth face masks should not be placed on young children under age two, anyone who has trouble breathing, anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face-covering without assistance.
- Regularly wash your cloth face-covering in a washing machine
- Remove your mask carefully without touching eyes, nose and mouth and wash hands immediately after removing