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Samaritan Revises Visitor Restrictions

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An updated visitor policy for all Samaritan Health Services hospitals, outpatient departments and clinics will go into effect Monday, Nov. 8. The updated policy was developed in response to decreasing COVID-19 infections in our region.

Under the updated policy, patients at Samaritan hospitals, outpatient departments and clinics are allowed ONE visitor per day. Samaritan strongly encourages all visitors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a negative COVID-19 test result within the last 72 hours. 

Exceptions to the Visitor Policy

  • Two adults (ages 18 and over) per day may visit or accompany a child patient.
  • Patients may have one additional visitor during labor and delivery.
  • Patients at the end of life may have visitors, with the number of visitors decided in consultation with the care team.
  • Visitors to the Samaritan Pastega Regional Cancer Center in Corvallis must be ages 18 and over.
  • Patients with disabilities have a right to one designated support person per day, in addition to one visitor.

Additional restrictions apply for COVID-19 hospital inpatients.

Another change, in accordance with Oregon Health Authority guidance, is that support persons are subject to screening for coronavirus symptoms and exposure along with all other visitors and staff.

“As a health care organization, we strongly recommend that all visitors to our facility get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a recent negative test for COVID-19 to help ensure the safety of our staff and patients,” said infectious disease physician and Samaritan Coronavirus Task Force Chair Adam Brady, MD. “We are thankful to our communities for being patient and cooperative with our policies as we navigate this ever-changing pandemic.”

Mask Requirements

Patients, visitors, and staff in any Samaritan facility are required to wear properly fitting face masks.

Patients and visitors may use disposable face masks or cloth masks with multiple layers, and the masks must fit snugly around the nose, over the mouth and under the chin. Bandannas, gaiters, face shields and face masks with valves are not permitted.

For hospital inpatients, face masks may only be removed if:

  • The patient is actively eating or drinking and is physically distant – at least six feet – from anyone who does not live in the patient’s household. 
  • The patient is alone in a private room. 
  • The patient is physically distant – at least six feet – from others in a shared room.
  • The care being provided to the patient cannot be done with a mask on.

For outpatients, such as in Samaritan’s clinics and laboratories, face masks must be worn the entire time they are in the building and may only be removed if the care being provided cannot be done with a mask on.

Exemptions to these masking requirements include children younger than 2 years old, patients whose clinician has determined that they cannot wear a mask due to shortness of breath, and patients who are unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Every person is required to sanitize their hands, wear a mask and abide by all other infection prevention measures. Additional screening precautions may be required and additional facility rules may apply.

Learn more about Samaritan’s procedures related to the COVID-19 pandemic at samhealth.org/Coronavirus.