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New Visitor Restriction Guideline for All Polk County Health Systems

(Des Moines, IA) – As we continue to work together to keep our patients, families and healthcare providers safe and healthy, the following new visitor restriction policies have been put in place by all metro health systems.  

Effective Monday, June 22, 2020, the following visitors are allowed:

  • If patient is imminently dying, two designated visitors are allowed.

  • ED/Medical/Surgical and Critical Care Units/ Surgery /Perioperative Procedure Clinic/: one designated caregiver/visitor allowed.

  • In Maternity Services (Labor & Delivery, Postpartum, Antepartum): one designated caregiver/support person AND one designated birthing coach/doula are allowed in the patient’s labor & delivery room to support the care of the mother during the birthing process only.

  • If a patient is under the age of 18, they may have two designated caregivers (parent or legal guardian) at a time in the patient’s room to support the care of the patient.

  • Physician/outpatient clinics (Urgent Care, Family Medicine, Specialty Clinics, and Sleep Center): will allow one designated caregiver/visitor with a patient; two designated caregivers are allowed if the patient is under the age of 18. (The Iowa Clinic is still limiting minors to one visitor.)

  • If a patient is COVID-19 positive or suspected to have COVID-19, visitors will not be allowed.

Designated caregivers and visitors must be free of any signs of illness and will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19. Visitors and designated caregivers should bring a mask to wear upon entering the hospital or clinic. Individuals at high risk for severe disease (e.g., underlying cardiopulmonary disease, poorly controlled diabetes) should not visit.

Designated Caregivers:  

  • Siblings under the age of 16 are not allowed.
  • Always remain in patient room as appropriate
  • Free from illness such as (fever, sore throat, cough, diarrhea, vomiting or runny nose)
  • Limit movement within the facility and avoid common areas (cafeterias will not be open to the public)

Visiting hours are different for each healthcare system. Please contact each hospital to find out hours. Caregivers and visitors may deliver limited personal items to patients. Check with the health system to see what items are allowed before delivering to patient.

Hospitals and clinics are still in need of homemade masks for caregivers and visitors. If you are able to donate homemade cloth masks to our hospital and clinic partners, please visit our website at Polk County Health Department for drop off locations and times.

Thank you for your cooperation in this effort. For up-to-date information related to COVID-19, please visit


If you think you need to get tested for COVID-19 or have been exposed, call your clinic FIRST. DO NOT go to the ER or clinic. You could potentially expose others to COVID-19 or be exposed to COVID-19.