October 15, 2020
SALEM, Ore. -- Oregon State Hospital is reporting its first patient to test positive for COVID-19.
The patient began exhibiting symptoms Oct. 11 and was immediately tested for the virus and moved to the hospital’s quarantine unit. The test results came back late Wednesday, Oct. 14.
Since April 1, 26 OSH staff have reported positive tests; however, this is the first patient case. Medical and clinical staff are working together with the patient to meet both their physical and mental health needs.
"We have been preparing for this eventuality, and we are fortunate to have incredibly dedicated and passionate staff who are skilled at working with this unique population, and we are at our best in times like this," said Dolly Matteucci, Oregon State Hospital superintendent. "Protecting the health, safety and well-being of both our patients and staff remains our top priority."
Staff are working to educate and support all patients, explaining testing procedures and other steps the hospital is taking to prevent the spread of the virus.
As with all the staff cases, the hospital is conducting contact tracing to identify everyone with whom the patient has had close contact. Patients determined to be at risk will be monitored for symptoms, tested and transitioned to the quarantine unit as necessary. At-risk staff will be sent home to self-monitor, with instructions to reach out to their personal health care providers.
Because this case is epidemiologically connected to the three most recent staff cases by location and time, the hospital will quarantine all of the patients on the original unit for a period of 14 days. All patients and staff who worked on the original unit will be tested for COVID-19 and not be allowed to go anywhere else in the hospital.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Oregon State Hospital has been working with state epidemiologists to take comprehensive precautions to protect the health of both patients and staff. This includes requiring all staff to wear surgical masks, screening everyone who comes into the hospital, encouraging patients to wear masks, testing all new patients before admission and again before they move into the general population, and screening all patients for symptoms twice a day. To learn more about these and other efforts, read our web story on the OSH website.
Due to HIPAA and other health privacy laws, OSH is maintaining the confidentiality of the infected patient and cannot share additional details about their condition.
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