PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Banner Health said Thursday morning that it is easing visitor restrictions at their hospitals, urgent care locations, clinics, and emergency rooms. Patients in the hospital can have one visitor per day between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Those at outpatient locations like urgent care centers can have one person with them.
Dr. Marjorie Bessel, Banner Health’s chief clinical officer, said earlier this week that Banner was keeping a close on eye on the downward trend of COVID-19 cases, Arizona's positivity rate, hospitalizations, patients in the ICU, and ventilator usage with the goal of starting to allow a limited number of visitors. Banner's hospitals in Arizona had already resumed elective surgeries that had been on hold since shortly before Christmas.
Visitors to all facilities will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19. You will likely have to wait in line. You can speed up with process by completing Banner’s online screening. Visitors also must bring a mask and wear it all the time. "Those who do not comply will be asked to leave the facility,” according to Banner’s webpage outlining visitor restrictions.
The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 419 new coronavirus cases Wednesday morning, Arizona's statewide total is now at 851,265 cases.
Cafeterias, waiting areas, and other places visitors might gather will stay closed. Visitors will need to straight to and from the patient’s room and stay there for the entire visit. They will not be allowed to come and go several times during the day.
Because patients are only allowed one visitor per – not one at a time – it’s important to make arrangements with the patient and coordinate with others who might wish to visit them.
5 exceptions to visitor restrictions at Banner hospitals
Patients younger than 18 may have one guardian or support person with them in addition to one visitor per day.
Mothers in labor may have one support person with them in addition to one visitor per day. Doulas will be allowed if the mother does not have COVID-19 but they must bring their own personal protective equipment.
Visitation for end-of-life patients will be accommodated. Visitors will need to make arrangements with the patient’s care team.
Spiritual leaders are allowed in addition to the designated visitor allowance.
The guidelines do not apply to behavior health units. Visitors will to contact the units directly for information and to make arrangements.