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Oregon State Hospital’s response to COVID-19

Tuesday, November 24, 2020


Updated: Tuesday, November 24, 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 a total of three patient cases of COVID-19. Forty staff members have also reported testing positive during this time.  

New: In October, there was a cluster of cases related to one unit (three patients and seven staff). OSH took immediate actions to stop the virus from spreading, including testing of all staff and patients on the Salem Campus, as well as implementing a brief period where staff and patients on each unit self-isolated as households. 

The campus-wide testing of patients and staff has shown the virus was contained to this one unit.

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 necessary 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/or medical conditions;
  • Designated a quarantine unit for patients who have respiratory symptoms and who may test positive for COVID-19;
  • Opened three admission and 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:

  • Regularly 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;
  • Treating the patients on each unit as a 'household' without mingling between different units;
  • 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 OSH Ombuds and Family Services (OFS) at  OSH.OmbudsandFamilyServices@dhsoha.state.or.us. 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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