News, Public Saftey

Valley Health loosens hospital visitation rules

by Kate Evans

The Level Yellow visitation guidelines for all Valley Health facilities, including War Memorial Hospital in Berkeley Springs, were loosened on June 28 to let patients have more visitors. Visitation has been restricted to Level Yellow due to COVID-19 and influenza.

For most patients who are adult inpatient and critical care unit, the change means that visitation will increase to up to four guests in the hospital per day, with up to two visitors at the bedside at a time.

For the many different hospital care situations, a comprehensive list of visitation guidelines for each situation can be found at this website link.

Care situations with posted visitation guidelines include adult inpatient, critical care, Emergency Department, surgical services, labor and delivery, pediatric, cardiac rehabilitation, acute rehabilitation, outpatient diagnostic, imaging services, end of life/comfort care and heart

and vascular/non-invasive and invasive cardiology.

The visitation guidelines list specifies the number of Care Partners, Procedural Support Persons or visitors permitted in each care situation with specifics on how many can stay overnight, be at bedside and more.

Valley Health’s move to adjust visitation guidelines recognizes the importance of having Care Partner support at the bedside, officials say.

A Care Partner is a family member or a trusted friend designated by the patient to be an active part of their care team. A Care Partner participates in patient education and physical care and provides emotional support.

Care Partners must be 18 years of age or older and must comply with Valley Health masking, distancing and personal protective equipment requirements.

A Procedural Support Person is a family member or a trusted friend designated by the patient as their primary contact and support person during their procedure.