Always Here, Always Safe


Effective March 7, 2022, superseding all previous visitation guidelines.

Palomar Health requires all visitors to show proof of full vaccination with booster (if eligible for booster) approved by the CDC. Proof of vaccination includes official record card (digital photo or photocopy OK) or state digital record with QR code.

In the absence of full vaccination, a negative PCR COVID-19 test result within 2 days of visit or a negative Antigen COVID-19 test within 1 day of visit is required upon arrival to enter the building. For visitors who visit multiple consecutive days, proof of a negative test is only required every 3rd day.

Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated visitors with a history of COVID-19 within the prior 90 days may provide documentation of recovery from COVID-19 and release of isolation in lieu of testing. 

Palomar Health does not provide on-site testing for designated support people or visitors.

If visitors are not able to show the required documentation, they will not be allowed inside the building and will be asked to wait outside. If needed, a staff member will be called to assist patients whose loved ones are not allowed inside. Exceptions to the vaccination requirements will be considered for visitors of patients at end-of-life, with signs of imminent birth or those needing additional care. The patient’s care team must approve this in advance.

**These guidelines are based on current health conditions in our community and are subject to change as conditions change.

Additionally, the following visitor limitations are in place:
 

  • Visiting hours are restricted to 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. for inpatient units.
  • Visiting hours for the Emergency Department are 24 hours a day.
  • Up to 2 visitors/support persons age >18 at a time are allowed to visit/accompany a patient in the hospital.
  • Up to 2 visitors/support person age >18 at a time are allowed to accompany a patient in the emergency department.
  • All visitors must show proof of being fully vaccinated. In absence of being fully vaccinated, a negative PCR COVID19 test result within 2 days of visit or a negative Antigen COVID19 test within 1 day of visit upon arrival to enter the building.
  • For visitors who visit multiple consecutive days, proof of a negative test is only required every 3rd day.
  • Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated visitors with history of COVID19 within the prior 90 days may provide documentation of recovery from COVID19 and release of isolation in lieu of testing.
  • Palomar Health does not allow “at home” testing.
  • Palomar Health does not perform any testing for visitors/support persons.
  • Exceptions from proof of vaccine or testing include visitors of patients at end-of-life, a support person for labor/delivery, parent or guardian visitors of pediatric patients, or patients with physical, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities and cognitive impairments. This must be approved by the patient’s care team.
  • For subsequent visits following the “exception” situation listed above, as soon as reasonably possible these visitors must comply with the vaccine verification or applicable testing requirements within 72 hours.
 
  • All visitors allowed in the building will be screened, given a wristband and required to wear a well-fitting face mask (surgical mask is recommended) upon entry and at all times within the building.
  • Gaiters, bandanas and masks with small plastic valves on the front are not permitted.
  • Anyone with symptoms of COVID19 will not be allowed to visit.
  • Visitors must remain in the patient's room and comply with any instructions related to physical distancing from staff or other patients.
  • Visitors should leave the facility right away after finishing their visit.
  • Eating/drinking is not allowed in the lobbies or patient rooms.  Visitors may eat/drink in the cafeteria.
  • Additional PPE the healthcare team deems appropriate while in the patient room may also be required.
  • Social distancing must be practiced at all times. If proper social distancing cannot be done in the patient’s room, the visitor may be asked to leave the room while the care team is present. 
  • If any visitors are not willing to comply with all infection control guidelines, they can be asked to leave.

  • No visitors are allowed to visit COVID19 positive patients in the hospital at this time.
  • Exceptions may be considered for patients at end-of-life, or patients with physical, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities and cognitive impairments. This must be approved in advance by the patient’s care team.

  • Up to 2 support persons can accompany the patient in/out of the hospital.
  • Visitors can wait in 2nd floor waiting area during surgery and will be notified when the surgery is complete permitting the ability to social distance. 

  • 2 support persons age > 18 are allowed.
  • COVID-19 positive patients in labor and delivery are allowed one support person, who must remain in the room at all times.
  • One birthing partner with a laboring mother will be exempt from proof of vaccination or testing.
  • After the baby is born, just one person 18 may stay the night.
  
 

Fully Vaccinated 

  • Visitor’s visitation has no restrictions and no longer require proof of a negative test. 

Unvaccinated Visitors

  • Show proof of a negative test within 24 hours of visit for antigen or two days of visitation for PCR for indoor visitation.  
  • Visitors that are unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated or are unable to show a negative test may only have an outdoor visit. 
  • Unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated visitors with history of COVID-19 within the prior 90 days may provide documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in lieu of testing. 


Testing

Unvaccinated visitors seeking indoor visitation must show documentation of a negative COVID test where the specimen collection occurred within two days if using PCR or one day if using antigen testing before each visit and for which the test results are available at the time of entry to the facility. For visitors who visit for multiple consecutive days proof of negative test is only required every third day (meaning testing is only required on day one, day 4 and day 7, and so on).

 

**Palomar Health is not a free COVID-19 testing site**
The cash price for COVID-19 diagnostic lab testing at a Palomar Health hospital is $210 per test. Health plans are required to cover COVID-19 tests at no cost to the enrollee. It is recommended that you first contact your healthcare provider for a COVID-19 test.

Click here for a list of free COVID-19 testing sites provided by the County of San Diego.

Infection Prevention
Palomar Health’s Infection Prevention team has played a significant role in preventing staff and patients from contracting COVID-19 at all Palomar Health facilities during the pandemic. See how they do it. 

Emergency Services
We understand this is a time of uncertainty and many people are afraid to come to the hospital. We have seen patients in our Emergency Department who’ve avoided much needed medical treatment out of fear of contracting COVID-19. You should not be afraid. Seek medical care immediately if you’re having an emergency. The Emergency Department is safe and early treatment can result in drastically improved outcomes. Waiting can have irreversible consequences.
 
Our emergency department is always here, safe and ready to serve our community.

Hospital Safety
To ensure everyone’s safety, Palomar Health is testing all hospital patients for COVID-19 and ensuring all staff use personal protective equipment (PPE) above and beyond the recommended level. We’ve also taken unprecedented actions to clean and disinfect every area of the hospital and limit the number of people coming inside. The precautions include:
 
  • Screening all patients at the door for potential infectious diseases
  • Masking all patients and personnel throughout the hospital
  • Restricting visitors 
  • Unprecedented cleaning and sterilization of all surfaces
  • Isolating potential COVID-19 in a negative pressure room
 
Negative pressure rooms are designed to prevent the air from infectious disease patients from mixing with the air from the rest of the hospital. Learn how it works. 

Surgeries
Beginning in late April, Palomar Health resumed non-emergent, time-sensitive surgeries and has been steadily increasing the number and types of surgeries it is performing. Now may be the time to talk with your doctor about a surgery you feel may be necessary or following through on that medical procedure you have been putting off. Extra precautions are being taken to protect patients and healthcare workers. 

Talk to a Physician
If you are feeling ill (non-emergency) or are due for a medical check-up, don’t put off seeing your doctor any longer. Make your health a priority. Palomar Health is proud to be partners in health with Arch Health Medical Group and Graybill Medical Group who offer virtual and in-person visits for every need. You can also visit Palomar Health’s Find a Doctor page to select a physician that is right for you.
 
If you would like to learn more about Palomar Health’s response to COVID-19, visit www.PalomarHealth.org/Coronavirus.