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Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Beginning Oct. 4, in-person visitation will resume for vaccinated patients on Oregon State Hospital's Junction City Campus — with safety precautions in place to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
In August, hospital leadership announced it would reopen in-person visitation once the weekly, average community infection rate for COVID-19 fell below 8%, into the CDC's “moderate range." Lane County, home to the Junction City Campus, has achieved this threshold.
The reopening in Salem will take longer, as Marion County's infection rate continues to be in the CDC's “high" range (above 10%), according to the Oregon Health Authority COVID dashboard.
OSH Superintendent Dolly Matteucci said she is committed to resuming in-person visitation for patients as soon as possible. With the downward trend in community infection rates, she's hopeful the Salem Campus won't have long to wait.
“Being able to connect face to face means a lot to patients and their well-being," she said. “Families and friends play a very important role in the recovery for many of our patients."
OSH had suspended in-person visitation in March of 2020 because of the pandemic. As a substitute, the hospital offered video visits between patients and their loved ones.
Matteucci said the hospital updated its visitation process with the patients' welfare in mind. In-person visitation was delayed because of the communal living at the hospital, the highly contagious nature of the Delta variant of COVID-19, and the rising infection rates across the state.
For the time being, the plan is to offer in-person visitation for vaccinated patients, only. This is a temporary measure to prevent the virus from entering the hospital and infecting patients and staff.
Going forward, the visitation process will include the following changes:
In-person visitation will not be available to unvaccinated patients or patients on admissions and Persons Under Investigation (PUI) units. PUI units are where OSH monitors patients who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.
Each day, the Security Department manager will decide if visits will take place indoors or outdoors, based on the weather. Once decided, all visits for that day will take place in either the designated indoor or outdoor location.
Video visits will continue to be available to all patients.
Due to space and staffing limitations, all visits are by appointment only. Please have several dates and times in mind, in case your first choice is not available.
Visitors may begin scheduling appointments with Reception on Friday, Oct. 1.
Visitation days and hours are different than what was previously offered.
Patients can visit with up to two people at a time.
Child visits are limited to one child per patient per visit, unless an exception is granted.
Patients and visitors must wear masks and maintain physical distancing for the duration of the visit. A brief hug or handshake at the beginning and end of the visit is OK.
We will have separate visitation areas for patients based on their level of vulnerability to COVID-19.
Patients and visitors may not consume food or drink during the visit.
At the end of the visit, visitors may purchase grab-and-go food for their loved ones from the café, which patients can take back with them to their units.
In addition, visitors must complete the same health screening as all OSH employees. If visitors refuse or fail the health screening, OSH will cancel the visit to protect patients from potentially becoming infected with COVID-19.
For more information, see the Visitor FAQ on the OSH website, or call 541-465-2554 to reach Reception in Junction City.
Please know that in-person visitation rules are subject to change. We will do our best to keep you updated.
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