A Guide To Visitor Restrictions At Phoenix-Area Hospitals

By Bret Jaspers, Emma VandenEinde
Published: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 3:14pm
Updated: Friday, May 15, 2020 - 2:54pm

HonorHealth Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center
Tracy Greer/KJZZ
HonorHealth Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center.

Several Phoenix-area hospital systems are restricting the number of visitors a patient can see to limit the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The following guidelines are as of May 15, 2020.

Abrazo/Tenet Healthcare

The local Abrazo Health locations are owned by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare.

Abrazo said in a press release that since May 13 it is “allow[ing] one designated visitor to accompany patients having a scheduled elective procedure or one visitor per patient in the Emergency Department.” This is in addition to Abrazo’s previous rule of one visitor for situations involving childbirth or end-of-life patients. Visitors will be screened for health concerns and be required to wear masks, use hand sanitizer and wear an identification badge.

Banner Health 

Visitors are not allowed in Banner Hospitals with three exceptions

  • Patients under the age of 18 are allowed one adult visitor.
  • Mothers in labor are allowed one support person.
  • Patients at end-of-life can have one adult visitor for an hour.

Every visitor must be screened for health concerns, wear a mask and remain inside the patient’s room. They cannot enter the hospital multiple times on the same day.

Banner is a hospital and health services chain covering six states. In central Arizona, it has hospitals in both Maricopa and Pinal Counties, including locations in Sun City, Apache Junction and Casa Grande.

Dignity Health

Dignity has over 100 locations in Arizona, including hospitals and urgent-care centers.

On March 18, the company changed its visitation policy for Arizona hospitals, effective March 19 at 7 a.m. No visitors will be allowed, except for one visitor for emergency, labor and delivery, nursery ICU, trauma and end-of-life patients.

On March 22, Dignity started banning visitors at its San Francisco-area hospitals.

HonorHealth

HonorHealth has five hospitals total in Phoenix and Scottsdale. Those locations are not allowing visitors in the emergency rooms or inpatient hospital rooms. Pediatric areas are limited to one parent visitor, and labor and delivery units are allowing one visitor only. One visitor is allowed to remain in the waiting room for a patient who has operating room or lab procedures. 

Temperature screening and entrance restrictions at Honor Health hospitals went into effect on March 18.

Phoenix Children's

Hospital visitors are limited to two healthy adult caregivers, although only one adult can be in the room at a time. Only one caregiver is allowed as a visitor for emergency room and clinic visits. The only exception is for babies who are breastfeeding.

Visitors will be screened for health concerns and are strongly encouraged to wear masks during the visit. Visitors must wear a mask if they have flu-like symptoms and cannot reschedule or create a telehealth appointment.

Hospital visitors are being staggered to maintain social distancing.

The Phoenix Children’s system has 48 locations in Arizona, including two hospitals.

Phoenix Indian Medical Center Indian Health Service

In a post on its Facebook page, the Phoenix Indian Medical Center Indian Health Service says no visitors are allowed in the emergency department or inpatient hospital rooms. There are exceptions for pediatric patients and mothers in labor, although the one visitor allowed for those patients must have a negative screening for COVID-19. No visitors are allowed for patients isolated for COVID-19, either confirmed or suspected.

Parents are asked not to bring any children under the age of 13.

All visitors are required to wear masks.

The hospital recommends would-be visitors stay at home if their visit is non-essential.

Phoenix VA

According to a spokesperson, the Phoenix VA is restricting visitors in its in-patient wards and not allowing caregivers in under the age of 15 except in end-of-life or "extenuating situations." 

The VA is requesting patients come alone if possible to appointments so as to reduce foot traffic. All visitors must wear a mask and will be given one if needed.

Steward Health Care

Steward owns four Arizona hospitals, in Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa and Florence. The company is based in Dallas and operates 39 hospitals in nine states. 

Steward has a detailed visitor policy. But, since March 24, Steward has not allowed visitors with exceptions mostly being on a “case-by-case basis.” It does allow “essential visitors,” which are “individual[s] who [are] in a support role for a patient or who [are] legally responsible for making health care decisions on behalf of a patient.” Although rules vary by patient, in general, one adult “essential visitor” is allowed per patient per day. These visitors must wear a mask and cannot visit if they show flu-like symptoms during screening.

“Restricting visitors at this point is an extension of the social distancing, which many of us have been talking about, to try and prevent the spread of the disease and to try and prevent more people from becoming infected,” said Steward’s Chief Medical Officer Joseph Weinstein. He spoke to NPR's Here and Now on March 18.

Valleywise

The publicly owned health system has just one comprehensive hospital (Valleywise Health Medical Center on East Roosevelt Street in Phoenix), but many other health care service locations. 

Valleywise has a few exceptions to its no-visitor policy. Visitors going to the medical center are now limited to one per pediatric/NICU or laboring patient. End-of- life situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Visitors will get temperature checks and must wash their hands upon entry.

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