Samaritan announces relaxation of some pandemic visitor rules

As hospitalizations due to COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses continue to decline in the region, Samaritan announced last week that it was relaxing some pandemic visitor restrictions and implementing a new visitor policy for hospital and mental health inpatients.

Medical-grade face masks are still required at all Samaritan hospitals, patient care departments and clinics, per Oregon Health Authority requirements.

Meanwhile, the visitor policy has been relaxed to allow each inpatient to designate two visitors and one or more support people, with one support person allowed at a time. This means there can generally be up to three people with a patient at a time — up to two visitors and one support person.

“Samaritan understands the benefits of having loved ones and support at the bedside and as conditions change we are happy to adapt to improve the experience,” said Wendie Wunderwald, RN, vice president of Patient Care Services for Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital.

The policy covers Samaritan’s hospitals in Lebanon, Albany, Corvallis, Lincoln City and Newport, as well as the mental health inpatient facility in Corvallis.

Other provisions of the policy include:

♦ Patients at the end of life may have more visitors, with the number of visitors decided in consultation with the care team.

♦ Clergy may visit at any time with patient/family consent and does not count towards the visitor and support-person limit.

♦ Visitors may be asked to temporarily leave a care area at the discretion of the care team for patient care or safety reasons.

Additional restrictions or special exceptions for mental health patients, emergency department patients, pediatric patients and obstetric patients are detailed in Samaritan’s visitor policy. Patients and visitors may check with the care team for more information.

Samaritan’s full Visitor Policy may be found at samhealth.org/Visitors.