Salem Hospital decides to sharply limit visits starting on Monday

Treatment rooms for seriously ill patients in the Salem Hospital emergency department are larger to allow more people and medical equipment inside (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

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Salem Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in Oregon, announced Sunday that it was restricting visits to patients starting on Monday, March 16.

The new restrictions also apply to West Valley Hospital in Dallas.

The hospital is acting as the novel coronavirus spreads in Oregon. The hospital last week said it was treating one of the two people in Marion County diagnosed as infected with COVID-19.

Hospital officials said, that with exceptions, “visitation will not be permitted starting Monday and will continue for the foreseeable future.

No visitors under 12 will be allowed and no one will be allowed to see patients in isolation for infection prevention, the hospital said in announcement posted Sunday afternoon.

Salem Health also said that only patients would be allowed into its medical clinics.

“All patients with flu-like symptoms are being rescheduled to alternate locations,” Salem Health said without further explanation.

The hospital said exceptions would include:

·     One visitor may accompany obstetric, neonatal intensive care unit and pediatric patients.

·     Patients who are at the end of life may have one visitor at a time.         

·     Patients undergoing surgery or procedures may have one visitor who must leave the hospital as soon as the patient’s recovery is complete.

·     Patients who have an appointment at a Salem Health Medical Group clinic, laboratory, radiology, or who are seeking care in the emergency department may have one person with them only if required for physical or mental assistance.

“Guests who meet one of these exceptions will be allowed inside the hospital, but are restricted to the patient’s room and direct travel to and from the patient’s room and hospital entrances/exits, unless clinically required diversions are necessary, such as to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription,” the hospital said in its announcement.