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Visitor restrictions are now in place

December 29, 2017

Media Contact:

For more information and interview requests, contact:

  • Providence St. Mary Medical Center
    Kathleen Obenland
    Director, Marketing & Communications
    509-897-2295
    Send an Email »

Due to the surge of flu cases in this community, Providence St. Mary Medical Center is restricting visitors on its campus to prevent the spread of the disease.

The intent of these restrictions is to do everything we can to keep people healthy—our patients, staff, families and hospital visitors.

  • Visitors must be either members of the immediate family (primarily spouses, partners and children) or individuals age 18 or older.
  • The exception to the age restriction is in the Birth Center. Healthy siblings under 18 may visit, but must report to the nurse’s station before proceeding to Mom’s room so they can be assessed and given masks to wear for the duration of the visit.
  • All patients are restricted to two visitors—total—at a time in the hospital. Large groups rotating in and out of the patient's room or gathering in our waiting rooms, cafeterias or other public areas of the hospital increase the chance of spreading viruses.
  • Visitors accompanying patients for Providence Medical Group clinic or diagnostic appointments who have a cough or influenza-like symptoms will be given a mask to wear, and are asked to use good hand hygiene to protect others.

The restrictions will remain in place until the incidence of flu declines in the community. Providence St. Mary appreciates the public’s help in the effort to reduce the spread of the disease.

Providence requests that those who need anti-viral medication or other treatment for the flu consider going to Providence Express Care, Urgent Care or their primary care provider, rather than to the Emergency Department.

The Emergency Department, the most expensive option that also usually has the longest wait, should only be considered for flu treatment if the person has underlying conditions that can make it potentially dangerous, such as if the person is elderly, frail, or has chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure or asthma.