PeaceHealth United General Medical Center

PeaceHealth United General Medical Center in Sedro-Woolley.

Changing COVID-19 metrics have prompted PeaceHealth United General Medical Center in Sedro-Woolley to update its policy regarding visitors.

Until Monday, the hospital permitted no visitors in the facility with a few exceptions. Under the new policy, there can be one designated visitor for non-COVID patients.

Two visitors are allowed on a case-by-case basis for minors, patients receiving end-of-life care and patients with physical or cognitive impairments. Visitors are permitted during visits or procedures when they may need to make decisions about patient care.

The surgical services area remains off-limits to visitors because of its limited space for social-distancing.

Regardless of which area visitors are in, they must undergo screening, wear masks and refrain from visiting areas such as the cafeteria, gift shop or chapel.

Raymond Belarmino, infection prevention manager for PeaceHealth’s Northwest Region, said the visitor policy is governed by metrics, such as the seven-day rolling average of cases per 100,000 residents.

“If we have sustained (fewer than) 15 cases per 100k, then we ease restrictions and revert to our general COVID visitor policy,” he said.

Per policy updated Monday, Island Hospital allows one “support person” to accompany patients in many areas such as primary and specialty clinics, physical and occupational therapy, and inpatient services. More information is available on its website.

Skagit Regional Health facilities also allow visitors, including one for patients in the emergency department. Specific procedures and limitations can be found on the Skagit Regional Health website.

The policy was last updated Feb. 4.

“The Skagit Regional Health visitor policy is reviewed regularly to ensure that we prioritize safety for patients and staff, while also being mindful of the healing benefits of patient visitation,” Skagit Regional Health CEO Brian Ivie said in an email.

Reporter Trevor Pyle: 360-416-2156,, Twitter: @goskagit,

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