Intermountain enacts hospital visitor restrictions due to coronavirus

(Chris Detrick | Tribune file photo) The Intermountain Medical Center in Murray photographed Tuesday August 25, 2009.

Intermountain Healthcare enacted hospital visitor restrictions Monday.

Patients at Intermountain facilities may have only two visitors at one time, and visitors are forbidden to adult patients with COVID-19, or coronavirus, Intermountain wrote on a social media post. Parents of any children who may be diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive safety training to accompany young patients, Intermountain officials said.

“This restriction is being put in place for the safety of you, our patients, caregivers and community,” the post stated.

Anyone who is sick should not visit or accompany other patients, or enter a health care facility except to seek care for themselves.

[Read more: Complete coverage of the coronavirus]

Visitors or companions younger than 18 are “strongly” discouraged, the post stated.

Visitors should wash their hands or use alcohol sanitizer before and after leaving any patient room, exam room and a facility.

“Speak with a nurse or receptionist about expectations and special circumstances,” the post stated.

The restrictions do apply to labor and delivery patients, as well as patients at prenatal visits, Intermountain officials confirmed. Families who cannot secure child care for older children should contact the facility before picking up newborns and their mothers to return to their homes, Intermountain officials said.

The same rules also apply to credit unions on hospital campuses; members are asked not to visit if they are sick.

Utah confirmed a new coronavirus case Friday, when Gov. Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency. The patient, who lives in Davis County, was a passenger on the Grand Princess cruise ship, on a voyage before the one that ended stalled off the coast of California because of an outbreak onboard. The cruise line on Friday alerted previous passengers that they, too, could be at risk of exposure. The Davis County man, who is older than 60, had developed symptoms and was tested, health officials said.

So far, state health officials have not confirmed any cases contracted within Utah — but tests have generally been restricted to those who have traveled to affected areas or have had close contact with a confirmed patient. As of last week, the state had materials for about 400 tests on hand.

Previously the state had only one other confirmed patient. A St. George man tested positive while in quarantine after an outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship near Japan and later returned to Utah for treatment at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. He developed no symptoms and was discharged from hospital care last week under orders to self-quarantine at his home.