On Monday, officials at UC San Diego said, starting Wednesday, all visitors to its acute care facilities would be required to show either proof of full vaccination or a negative coronavirus test performed within the previous 72 hours.
On Tuesday, their colleagues at Sharp HealthCare and Scripps Health joined them in releasing similar statements.
In its statement, Scripps HealthCare said that it was acting on a state mandate and that all its employees "who provide health care services or work in health care facilities will be required to be fully vaccinated by the end of September," and that, starting on Wednesday, all visitors at hospitals, skilled nursing centers and intermediate care facilities would need to prove they were fully vaccinated or had a negative COIVD test within the past 72 hours.
Meanwhile, over at Sharp Health, visitors were being limited to designated support persons, and, starting Wednesday, those support persons were being restricted to people who could provide proof of vaccination via an official vaccination record card, whether it was the original or a digital or paper copy, or a state digital record with a QR code. Sharp Health's statement specified that the results of at-home coronavirus tests would not be acceptable as proof of a negative test.
"We are awaiting additional guidance from the state around some exemptions, but that has not been issued yet," John Cihomsky, senior vice-president for PR & communications at Sharp HealthCare, told NBC 7 via email.
UC San Diego Health
On Monday, UC San Diego officials said the new guidelines for visitors would begin on Wednesday, in "accordance with the most recent health order from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH)."
Affected facilities in the UC San Diego include:
• UC San Diego Medical Center, Hillcrest
• Jacobs Medical Center (including Thornton Pavilion)
• Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center
• Moores Cancer Center (all areas including Infusion Center and clinics)
All of the other UC San Diego facilities, including clinics, are excluded at this time from the new guidelines. All patients and any approved visitors will need to wear a mask or face covering. Only two guests per day will be admitted, and all visitors must be 12 or older.
An official from Palomar Health, public relations manager Derryl Acosta, told NBC 7 on Tuesday afternoon that Palomar Health would also be "abiding by the state public health officer order" and confirmed that the health care system would require visitors to have proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test within the prior 72 hours.
Rady Children's Hospital
Things are handled a little differently at Rady Children’s Hospital.
First of all, a spokesman for the health-care provider said it does not consider parents of patients to be visitors but, rather, “partners in care,” in their terminology. As such, “we don't feel that they fall under this new mandate to test all visitors,” hospital spokesman Ben Metcalf told NBC 7 on Tuesday.
Other visitors to Rady Children’s Hospital, however students, vendors, etc. – are required to be vaccinated. The medical center has not permitted other guests -- like an uncle with balloons, in an example Metcalf provided – since the beginning of the pandemic.
Rady does offer parents coronavirus testing, if they would like it, said Metcalf, who added that parents and others are not exempt from the vaccination/testing mandate at outpatient clinics.
An official with Kaiser Permanente San Diego said on Tuesday afternoon that it, too, would be shifting to the fully vaccinated or recently tested model the other health care providers in the area were adopting on Wednesday.
“In alignment with California Department of Health guidelines, Kaiser Permanente San Diego will require vaccine verification for visitors to all acute health care facilities," communications manager Steven McClelland told NBC 7. "The health and safety of our members, patients, employees, and communities remain our priority."
Proof of a negative COVID-19 test result for a specimen taken within the previous 72 hours of visit would also satisfy the requirement for entry, McLelland said.
Other Health Care Providers
NBC 7 is awaiting a response from Alvarado Hospital to see if its facility will also be implementing the new visitor guidelines.
Unvaccinated San Diegans can find locations to get a shot or where they can be tested: