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Oregon State Hospital’s response to COVID-19

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Updated: Tuesday, October 27, 2020

At Oregon State Hospital, protecting the health and safety of our patients and staff is our top priority. We are taking comprehensive and necessary steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the hospital.

Since March 2020, there have been three patient cases of COVID-19. During the past seven months, 30 staff members reported testing positive.  

New: Of the most recent COVID-19 cases, ten (three patients and seven staff) have been from one unit, Lighthouse 2, which has been under quarantine since Oct. 15.  Since then, we have been taking aggressive actions to stop the virus in its tracks. This has included testing of all staff on the Salem Campus, as well as implementing a 14-day time period where staff and patients on each unit are self-isolating as households.

All of the patients from the unit have been tested. The three who tested positive are on the quarantine unit, and the 15 who were exposed but tested negative are being treated as “persons under monitoring" on Lighthouse 2. All 18 patients will remain on their units for at least 14 days.

OSH response to the pandemic

In accordance with Governor Brown's March 8, 2020, declaration of emergency, which calls upon state agencies to take necessary measures to minimize disease transmission, the hospital has taken the following steps:

  • Activated the OSH Emergency Operations Center to coordinate all preparation and protective efforts;
  • Suspended patient visitation to all except patients receiving hospice;
  • Canceled all patient community outings except for those deemed medically or behaviorally necessary or for post-discharge placement purposes;
  • Expanded phone visitation hours so patients may better keep in touch with loved ones;
  • Created protective units for patients at highest risk due to age and medical conditions;
  • Designated a quarantine unit for patients who have respiratory symptoms and who may test positive for COVID-19;
  • Opened three admissions monitoring units, which means OSH is able to admit 13-30 patients each week, provided there are no positive COVID-19 cases and the current discharge rate remains the same;
  • Established an admissions process that begins with medical screening, followed by a quarantine period, COVID-19 testing, and additional screening before patients transition to other units within the hospital.

In addition, we are:

  • Consulting with state epidemiologists on measures to protect patients and staff, as well as increase supplies of personal protective equipment and medical supplies;
  • Screening all patients twice a day for symptoms of COVID-19 – such as fever or cough – and administering tests if these symptoms are present;
  • Ensuring all personnel entering the facility wear surgical masks;
  • Conducting contact tracing for anyone with a confirmed case of COVID-19;
  • Sending people home to self-monitor, as necessary;
  • Offering virtual visitations so patients can connect with their loved ones remotely;
  • Limiting sizes of patient groups;
  • Scheduling times for patients to use gymnasiums and outdoor spaces to maintain social distancing;
  • Screening everyone who enters the hospital for symptoms of COVID-19, including patients and staff; and
  • Restricting non-essential guests.

We're doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by acting on state and federal guidance to limit exposure through social distancing measures. We appreciate your understanding and support during this challenging time.

Friends and family with questions or concerns should contact Consumer and Family Services at osh.consumer& You can also call them at 503-947-8109 in Salem and 541-465-2785 in Junction City.

For the latest information on the state's response to COVID-19, please refer to the Oregon Health Authority website.



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