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Kaweah Health restricts visitors, announces event cancellations, and more due to COVID-19

  • Category: News
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Laura Florez-McCusker

VISALIA – Kaweah Health is today rolling out a number of temporary changes due to COVID-19, which include limiting patients to one visitor district-wide except for its skilled nursing program, which is not allowing visitors except for end-of-life patients.

“We are committed to the continued safety and health of all employees, patients, visitors, particularly as our organization monitors the growing spread of the COVID-19 virus domestically and internationally,” said Gary Herbst, Kaweah Health’s Chief Executive Officer. “These changes are about making sure that the health and safety of our staff, patients, and visitors remain our top priority.”

Visitor Restrictions

District-Wide: Effective Friday, March 13, at 4 p.m., patients will be limited to one visitor in the building at a time in all areas of the district. Exceptions will be limited for end-of-life patients. No children will be allowed as visitors. For a list of Kaweah Health locations, click HERE.

Emergency Department: One visitor allowed per patient; must not be exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Exceptions will be limited for end-of-life patients.

Transitional Care and Subacute Units: No visitors, with limited exceptions for end-of-life patients. These units are located at 1633 S. Court St. in Visalia. The patients in this unit require extensive services such as ventilator care, tube feedings, etc. and are more susceptible to illness.

Kaweah Health Rehabilitation Hospital (inpatients): The inpatient units at the rehabilitation hospital are limiting visitation to approved visitors only. This includes those who are scheduled for family training, providing translation assistance, or picking up a patient at discharge. Kaweah Health's Rehabilitation Hospital is located at 840 S. Akers St., Visalia.

Visiting Hours: Regular visiting hours remain in effect 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; no visitors after 9 p.m. unless patient is end-of-life or in labor.

Kaweah Health Medical Center Entrance Changes

During this time, for the safety of patients seeking care in the Emergency Department and for the safety of patients and visitors coming into the Medical Center for other reasons, Kaweah Health will also limit its Mineral King Entrance (400 W. Mineral King Avenue.) to Emergency Department and Obstetric/labor patients beginning at 4 p.m. Patients coming to the Medical Center for surgery or endoscopies must enter the Medical Center at the Surgery Center (located on the southwest side of the Medical Center), while all other patients and visitors must enter through Acequia Wing entrance, 305 W. Acequia Avenue. Security/staff will monitor these entrances. Patients and visitors planning to enter through the Acequia Wing are encouraged to park in the Acequia parking structure or in surface lots along Acequia Avenue.

Valet Parking

Valet parking will remain at 400 W. Mineral King Avenue., but patients/visitors who choose to use this service and are not using the Emergency Department or Obstetrics Department will need to enter the Medical Center through the Acequia Wing or Surgery Center.

Events Cancelled

All scheduled events that bring groups of individuals from outside the organization to Kaweah Health locations are postponed until further notice.


Beginning on Monday, March 16, for their health and safety, Kaweah Health Hospital Guild members will temporarily cease volunteer services. Additionally, we have removed high school student volunteers from our campus.

COVID-19 Information

“Fortunately, this is a disease that the vast majority of people will overcome,” said Dr. Dan Boken, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at Kaweah Health.

What is important right now, Dr. Boken said, is making sure that people know what to do if they believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms. They should call their doctor first, not head to the Emergency Department, Dr. Boken said. “People are heading there because they think there is no other place to go. When they do that, it takes away the ED’s energy away from sick people,” he said.

Tulare County Health & Human Services agency has said, if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, please call your primary physician and 2-1-1. Your physician will connect with Tulare County Public Health to determine if testing is appropriate. Tulare County Public Health Officer: 559-685-5720 or 559-471-7092 after hours and weekends.

Kaweah Health and our local health partners remind everyone to reduce their risk of getting sick during this time by doing the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick; stay away from large gatherings and crowds.
  • Stay home as much as possible. Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks.

Kaweah Health is in frequent contact with Tulare County Health & Human Services, as well as with other local hospitals and healthcare providers to coordinate our responses to this rapidly evolving situation. For the most current information regarding Kaweah Health’s activity, please visit