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OSH resumes in-person visitation on Salem Campus

Friday, November 19, 2021

Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 24, in-person visitation will resume for vaccinated patients on Oregon State Hospital's Salem Campus — with safety precautions in place to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

OSH previously reported that in-person visitation would open once the weekly test positivity rate for COVID-19 in Marion County fell below 8%, into the CDC's “moderate" range. Based on projections and corresponding evidence from state epidemiologists, hospital leadership believes they've reached this range.

Due to some technical issues, the most recent data from colleagues in public health on test positivity may be inaccurate, but other measures show decreasing amount of COVID disease in Marion County. OSH leadership is confident the data issue will be resolved shortly.

In the meantime, the hospital is resuming in-person visitation next week so patients on the Salem Campus don't have to wait any longer than necessary to see their loved ones in person. In-person visitation opened on the Junction City Campus in early October when Lane County's infection rate fell below 8 percent.

“I'm thrilled that we can once again offer in-person visitation on the Salem Campus," Superintendent Dolly Matteucci said. “Having these face-to-face connections is vital to the recovery and well-being for many patients in our care."

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.
  • All visits will take place in designated indoor locations, at least until the weather improves in the spring.
  • 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 Monday, Nov. 22.
  • 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. You can also call 503-945-2800 to reach Reception in Salem and 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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