COVID-19: Patient & Visitor Updates
Page Updated September 8, 2021
Willamette Valley Medical Center is committed to providing high quality care and protecting the health and safety of you, your family/loved ones, and our community. While the experience may be a little different than when you may have been with us before, we hope you will take comfort in knowing that you will receive the same safe, compassionate care you have come to expect from our team.
If you have medical needs, please do not delay seeking care. Willamette Valley Medical Center has taken precautions to safely care for you through in-person and virtual care.
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As of August 19, 2021, the following visitor policy will apply at Willamette Valley Medical Center. Please note that our visitor policies reflect changes in community spread of the COVID-19 virus and may change with limited notice as a result.
- Patients will be limited to one WELL visitor per day, with some exceptions for patients with disabilities, pediatric patients, obstetric patients, and those receiving end-of-life care (see below).
- Emergency Department: Patients are allowed one visitor which must remain in the patient’s room.
- End-of-Life Care: Limited exceptions will be made for end-of-life and medical necessity as determined by the care team.
- Pediatric Patients: Pediatric patients (under 18 years of age) are allowed one or both parents/legal guardians as visitors. If one parent or legal guardian meets screening criteria but the other does not, only the parent or legal guardian who meets screening criteria will be guaranteed access.
- Patients with Disabilities: Allowed up to three support persons (only one at a time) to provide assistance and help with the patient's care.
- Obstetric Patients: Birth parent may have one support person who will not have access to the rest of the hospital.
- Joint Replacement Program: Patients may have their designated coach with them through the entirety of the program.
- Outpatient services will be enforcing a zero-visitor policy, with exceptions for patients with disabilities and pediatric patients.
- All visitors are required to wear a mask at all times while in the facility, as well as remain in the patient’s room and maintain social distancing when in waiting rooms and shared areas.
- All visitors will attest to passing screening criteria consistent with COVID-19, per CDC guidelines, and have a temperature screening done when entering the facility. At the main entrance, temperature screenings are being completed by a thermal scanner. Visitors who are symptomatic will be asked to reschedule their visit until they are symptom-free.
- Visitors are NOT allowed for high-risk, isolation, immunocompromised, or respiratory patients who are under observation or test positive for COVID-19.
Requirements for visitors when visiting a hospitalized patient:
Beyond the restrictions outlined above, visitors must adhere to the following when visiting a hospitalized patient:
- Be Healthy.
You may not visit if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. If you start to experience symptoms, please leave the hospital.
- Stay in Your Patient's Room.
You must travel immediately to your patient’s room once approved for entry. Unless there is an emergency or you have received approval from a hospital staff member, you may not freely roam or loiter in the facility. You are encouraged to use the nursing call light provided in the patient’s room to summon assistance. Once you leave your patient’s room, you must leave the medical center.
- Follow PPE Requirements.
Wear the required personal protective equipment (PPE) as instructed by hospital staff. This equipment is required to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of our patients and staff.
- Comply With Staff Directions.
Our teams are working hard to deliver the safe, compassionate care you have come to expect from WVMC. Cooperation with their instructions is crucial to the health and safety of you, your family/loved ones, and our community.
- Wash Your Hands.
Clean your hands frequently, especially every time you enter or leave the hospital and any patient or exam room. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, clean your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
Violation of any of these rules may result in your removal from our facility.
Thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation as we work to maintain a safe environment for our patients and team.
Masks & General Safety
Patients, visitors, and staff are required to wear a mask at all times while in the hospital, including while in patient rooms. Please bring your own mask with you.
- Acceptable masks include cloth, surgical, dust, or N95 masks.
- Masks should NOT contain an exhalation valve or vent as these types of masks allow unfiltered air to escape.
- Willamette Valley Medical Center can provide a mask to visitors as needed.
How We're Protecting Patients & Visitors
We continue to take all necessary safety precautions to protect our patients and staff from COVID-19, including:
- Limit points of entry to the facility
- Require everyone entering the facility to attest to passing screening criteria for fever and other symptoms of COVID-19
- Supply masks and hand sanitizer at designated entrances
- Require everyone (over the age of 2) to wear a mask or face cloth
- Physical Distancing
- Maintain a strict limited visitor protocol
- Waiting rooms and other spaces are arranged to keep people 6 feet apart.
- Signs and decals guide people to stay 6 feet apart
- Check-in areas have plexiglass shields
- Visitation Alternatives
We encourage family members and friends to use alternative ways to interact with patients during this time. Our team members are available to help coordinate these connections, if necessary. Here are some ideas:
- Use FaceTime, Skype, or other video chats to connect
- Talk on the phone, if even just for a few minutes can make everyone feel connected
- Use chat to share messages and the latest news
- Schedule Google Hangouts for the whole family
- Patient Care
- Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are kept apart from other patients
- Clinical teams are trained on the proper procedures and protocols to minimize the risk of spreading any infectious disease, including COVID-19
- On-site staff members are checked for symptoms through a daily screening. Those with possible COVID-19 symptoms stay home and are tested
- Requiring all of our clinical staff members to wear the proper PPE (personal protective equipment), including eye protection for all patient encounters
- We constantly monitor supplies of PPE to make sure we have enough. We are confident that we have adequate resources to take care of patients and protect our staff at this time
- Establish processes and procedures for potential patient surges
- Patient rooms are thoroughly cleaned between patients
- Surfaces in waiting rooms are cleaned regularly
- Hand Sanitizer
- Hand sanitizer can be found in easily accessible areas throughout the facility, such as hallways and waiting rooms
- Patients are tested for COVID-19 before surgery and some other procedures, as well as upon admission, at the provider’s discretion
Signs and decals throughout the building guide patients and visitors on:
- Wearing a mask or face cloth
- Staying 6 feet from others
- Cleaning hands often
- Elevator safety
Maintaining a Clean & Safe Environment
Willamette Valley Medical Center is committed to providing a clean and safe care environment, and we are taking all precautionary measures to safeguard our staff, providers and those we serve against the spread of illness. Our hospital is clean and safe – just like it always has been! One of the core elements of properly managing infectious diseases is the cleanliness of our physical facility.
Here are some of the specific steps we are taking to maintain a clean and safe environment and prevent the spread of infectious diseases, like COVID-19:
- Compliance with Infection Prevention Best Practices, including:
- following hand hygiene protocol and utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times
- ensuring availability and access to hand sanitizer and soap throughout the facility
- using proper disinfectants, cleaning agents and supplies that meet state and federal infection control standards
- Terminal Cleaning and Disinfection of Sterile Areas: Our teams conduct terminal cleaning and disinfection of all sterile areas, including operating and procedural rooms, in accordance with industry standards and best practices.
- Focus on High-Touch Areas: We have enhanced cleaning and disinfection of high-touch items and surfaces in high-traffic areas of our facility, including our emergency room, lobbies, waiting areas, hallways, restrooms, elevators.
- Increased Inspections and Rounding to monitor compliance of our cleaning and disinfection process.
- Education & Training: In addition to reinforcing our routine cleaning techniques, we are also educating and training our teams on the latest guidance and recommendations for infection prevention related to COVID-19.
- Visitor Restrictions, Screening & Masking: Our hospital continues to enforce limited visitor restrictions, restricted access to our facility, and screening every individual who enters our facility including patients, visitors, staff, providers, and vendors. Everyone is required to wear a face covering while in our facility.
What happens after a patient is discharged?
As part of our routine cleaning protocol, our environmental services (EVS) team takes the following steps to clean and sanitize a room after a patient is discharged:
- Restrict access to room
- Use alcohol foam (sanitizer) on hands and put on gloves
- Trash and linens are bagged
- Gloves are removed, alcohol foam reapplied; new gloves are put on
- Dust surfaces at shoulder height and above
- Disinfect bed — cleaning top to bottom, removing all tape
- Disinfect room — starting at the door, wiping high-touch surfaces and furniture
- Disinfect bathroom, cleaning and wiping down all areas
- Remove gloves and use alcohol foam. In isolation, or “high risk”, rooms: Remove gloves, then gown, then mask. Wash hands with soap and water
- Gather clean linens, drape over forearm, hold away from body
- Make bed
- Restock supplies
- Dry mop
- Wet mop, ending at the door
- Clean hands and put on new gloves
- Disinfect cleaning equipment
- Remove gloves, wash with soap and water