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Patient, staff and visitor safety is a top priority for UW Medicine. As we implement proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a requirement for employment for UW Medicine staff, faculty and trainees, we recognize the need to require this same safety measure with our inpatient visitors over 12 and adults over 18 who accompany our adult patients during appointments.

Effective Tuesday, Oct. 19, Harborview Medical Center will be the first phase in a program to require all inpatient visitors over 12 and those over the age of 18 accompanying hospital-based clinic adult patients to show proof of having a COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 3 days of visiting the hospital. Please review the updated visitor policy that can be found here. After we learn from Harborview’s experience for a few weeks, we plan to implement this requirement at all UW Medicine hospitals and clinics.

All visitors, including hospital-based clinic patients, will be screened when entering the facility. To be fully vaccinated, visitors must have completed their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines two weeks or more prior to their visit or two weeks from the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test every time they visit.

What is Needed to Prove Vaccination?

All visitors must show proof of vaccination by presenting one of the documents listed below. The document must include the visitor’s name, date of birth, type of vaccination administered, and date(s) administered.

  • CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or photo of the front and back of the card
  • Documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider or electronic health record (for example, Epic MyChart)
  • State immunization information system record (for example, MyIR
  • For an individual who was vaccinated outside of the United States, a reasonable equivalent of any of the above (for example, the World Health Organization yellow vaccination card).
  • Note: A QR code cannot be presented as proof of vaccination.

Which COVID-19 tests will be allowed?

  • All COVID-19 tests except antibody blood tests will be allowed. Proof of a negative test may be paper or electronic and must include the name of the person tested, type of test performed, result of the test, and the collection date.
  • Antibody blood tests will not be accepted because they indicate a previous COVID-19 infection or vaccination rather than current COVID-19 status.

What other visitor restrictions remain in place?

  • Visitors will not be allowed to enter the facility if they have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Everyone over the age of 2 must wear a mask at all times.
  • All individuals must refrain from eating or drinking except in designated areas.
  • Inpatients may only have 1 to 2 visitors per day; once they leave, no additional visitors can visit that day.
  • Outpatients are encouraged to come to their visit alone unless they require a caregiver.
  • Visitors may schedule virtual visits by contacting the patient’s nurse who will facilitate a visit.

With this new requirement, our goal is to maintain a safe environment for all patients, staff and visitors while recognizing the important role that visitors can play in supporting patient care and recovery.

Thank you for all you do to keep our community safe.

Lisa Brandenburg
UW Medicine Hospitals & Clinics

Timothy H. Dellit, MD
Chief Medical Officer, UW Medicine
President, UW Physicians

Cindy Hecker
Chief Executive Officer
UW Medical Center

Sommer Kleweno-Walley
Chief Executive Officer
Harborview Medical Center

Jeannine Grinnell
Chief Executive Officer & Chief Financial Officer
Valley Medical Center

Jeff Richey
Executive Director
Airlift Northwest

Debra Gussin
AVP, Primary Care & Population Health
Executive Director
UW Neighborhood Clinics