In a press release Friday, March 11, Valley Health announced a relaxation of patient visiting guidelines, effective Monday, March 14. The move to the yellow tier from the red tier will allow two “designated care partners” to remain at the bedside of non-COVID diagnosed adult patients in medical-surgical and intensive care units, while diagnosed or suspected COVID positive patients can have one designated care partner at a time. As explained in the press release, purely social visits remain prohibited for the time being. See additional details below in the full press release.
Winchester, Virginia, March 11, 2022 – Valley Health’s patient visiting guidelines will move to yellow level effective Monday, March 14, a welcome reflection of the declining prevalence of COVID-19 and influenza virus among hospitalized patients and the wider community .
Since late November, when Valley Health adopted a new three-tier visitation framework, Valley Health hospitals and outpatient sites have been operating at the more restrictive red tier as a precautionary measure to protect patients, families and caregivers from disease outbreaks and community positivity.
As part of the yellow level visits, two care partners can now remain at the bedside of adult patients in the medical-surgical and intensive care units. (If a patient has confirmed or suspected COVID, only one care partner can visit at a time.) In Labor and Delivery, a third person can be present for the delivery of the baby. There is no social visit; only visitors must be designated Care Partners and wear a photo badge showing the room number of the patient they are visiting. Exceptions are granted for end of life and other special circumstances.
In line with government guidelines for healthcare facilities, universal mask wearing is still required for staff and visitors in all patient care areas.
“We are relieved to be on the other side of the most dramatic increase in COVID hospitalizations since the virus first showed up in the Shenandoah Valley two years ago,” Nicolas said. Restrepo, MD, Valley Health Quality and Patient Safety Manager. “It has been a difficult time, but I am extremely proud of how our team has continued to learn, adapt and work together to provide excellent, compassionate and safe care for all of our patients. »
Today, Valley Health is caring for 11 COVID-19 patients, in stark contrast to a mid-January census peak of 273 COVID patients across the system’s six hospitals. The community positivity rate in Lord Fairfax Health District in Virginia has fallen to 8.2%, and in Hampshire, Morgan, Jefferson and Berkeley counties in West Virginia it is now 4.7% at 6, 4%.
“In our decision-making, we tried to balance our faith in science and our own community data with the very real needs of our patients and families during an uncertain time,” Restrepo explained. “We are grateful for the extra efforts of our caregivers to help bridge the gap when family members could not be as present with their loved ones.”
“I urge everyone to stay alert and remember that vaccination and boosters are very effective in protecting against COVID and preventing severe symptoms should a breakthrough occur,” Restrepo said. “We continue to provide COVID care as needed, but we are impatient, focusing on helping our community catch up on missed health exams, elective procedures, and other preventative and treatment priorities.”
Each Valley Health hospital and outpatient facility will follow yellow level metrics. For more details, visit valleyhealthlink.com/visitation.