Valley Health System Implements New Visiting Policy | WDVM25 & DCW50

WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) – Valley Health System has a new visitor policy, after completely restricting visitors in recent weeks, except in certain circumstances.

The new policy is color-coded and has three different levels: green, yellow and red. Each level indicates how likely it is that patients and caregivers will be exposed to COVID-19 and the flu. Green is low risk, yellow is medium risk and red is high risk.

“Red is the most restrictive, but even red will always allow a partner in care. We make a very clear distinction between the presence of a partner in healthcare and social visitation,” said Howard Green, director of surgical services at Valley Health.

Currently, Winchester Medical Center and other Valley Health Care facilities are on the red level. This means that most patients can only be visited by one healthcare partner at a time.

“We have patients who have visitors who come for a social visit, maybe they check after church or other things that are a social visit, but a care partner is really that one person who helps with the patient’s care plan and helps the patient to make decisions about their care,” explains Theresa Trivette, chief nurse at Valley Health.

Each healthcare partner must follow Valley Health safety protocols when entering the hospital, such as masking. Healthcare partners visiting covid patients must wear PPE.

Valley Health says the new policy was needed to give patients the support of loved ones as they tried to recover.

“Right now we recognize that the importance of changing that and bringing healthcare partners into every room outweighs everything else and so a group got together and created a new policy to be able to bring healthcare partners back so that people who person with them, the bed to work with and advocate for them,” said Dr. Nick Restrepo, who serves as Valley Health’s quality and patient safety officer.

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