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Kaweah Health announces visitor policy change, emergency department detour

  • Category: News
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: María Rodríguez Ornelas

Starting Nov. 2, detour will be in effect for emergency department parking lot entrance

VISALIA, CA – Due to a continued decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations, Kaweah Health has further modified its visitor policy and is allowing patients having elective surgeries to have one visitor, provided they meet screening requirements.

“We’re incredibly excited to welcome back our visitors and families. Limiting visitors was one of the most difficult actions that we had to take during this pandemic even though safety was at the forefront of it,” Herbst said, noting that visitors were first allowed back Oct. 19. “We are a compassionate organization and we know how critically important it is to be surrounded by friends and family when you are in the hospital.”

The visitor policy modification generally allows patients of Kaweah Health Medical Center, who are not in isolation for COVID-19 (with the exception of patients in the Emergency Department) to have one unique visitor each day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. provided they:

  • Pass a COVID-19 screening prior to 6 p.m. at the hospital’s Acequia Avenue entrance.
  • Have not recently tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Are not in quarantine for COVID-19 (pending testing, exposure, etc.).
  • Are older than 12 years old.
  • Wear a surgical face mask.
  • Remain in the patient’s room except to use the restroom or get food.

Kaweah Health's Emergency Department only allows visitors in the following situations:

  • End-of-life patients
  • Patients whose conditions are deteriorating rapidly and need family by their side
  • Patients who are having major surgery, trauma, and at high risk of death
  • Patients requiring supervision
  • Patients who are children.

parking image

Emergency Department Detour

Starting Monday, Nov. 2, patients and visitors who coming to Kaweah Health’s Emergency Department will need to enter the Medical Center’s parking lot from Locust Street. Kaweah Health’s parking lot entrance at Mineral King Avenue will close as part of the ongoing construction of the Medical Center’s Emergency Department expansion. The project is expected to be complete in Spring 2021. Patients and visitors will be able to access the Emergency Department parking lot at Locust Street only. Signs announcing the detour will be placed throughout downtown Visalia. The recommended detours are:

For those traveling west on Mineral King Ave:

  • Turn right at South Court Street
  • Turn left on West Acequia Avenue
  • Turn left on South Locust Street

For those exiting Highway 198 East:

  • Turn left on South Watson Street
  • Continue on South West Street
  • Turn right on West Acequia Avenue
  • Turn right at South Locust Street

For those traveling north on South Court Street:

  • Continue on South Court Street
  • Turn left on West Acequia Avenue
  • Turn left on South Locust Street

Kaweah Health's Emergency Department (ED) is undergoing a multi-phase expansion that is expected to be complete in early 2021. It will modernize, expand, and improve Kaweah Health’s ED facilities to better serve patients and meet the needs of the growing community by:

  • Growing the number of patient beds from 41 to 74 beds
  • Nearly doubling the size of the waiting room to accommodate 100+ patients.

Already, the project has added 25 beds to its emergency department and opened a new area that is helping patients seeking emergency care get more quickly screened by medical providers.

Kaweah Health shares COVID-19 information and regular updates, including parking and construction news, with the community on its website at and on its social media accounts.