By News-Register staff • 

McMinnville hospital suspending all visits; emergency room remains open

Willamette Valley Medical Center announced on Friday that it is closing its doors to visitors until further notice.

Hospital officials said in a press release that the “decision to restrict visitors was difficult and made only after careful consideration as we witness communities, businesses and events across Oregon restrict gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We recognize that there are times when having a visitor or family member present is crucial and we will work to accommodate these exceptions.

“Additionally, we will be limiting entry points to our facility and screening everyone – employees, patients and limited permissible visitors – who enters the building.”

Based on the screening, individuals may also be asked to take their temperature, speak further with someone, or come back at a later date. Screening will occur upon every entry.

Entry points are now limited to the main entrance and the emergency department entrance.

Interim CEO Mark Nichols said in the press release “We know that these increased precautions may seem concerning. We do not want to cause alarm – but we do want to send a clear message to our community that we are prepared, responding appropriately and are committed to protecting the well-being of our patients, visitors, employees and community.”

However, he said, “these increased safety measures do NOT mean that you cannot access the hospital or your providers. Please seek medical care as needed. And if you are concerned you may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, call your provider in advance of going to his or her office. Of course, if you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the emergency room.

“Willamette Valley Medical Center values the trust our community places in us, and we appreciate your understanding as we shift our visitation policies during this time.”

The hospital issued the following guidance to people who feel sick: “If you have symptoms such as cough, runny nose, and fever, and your symptoms are mild, we recommend that you stay at home. Remember, it is cold and flu season so there are many possible causes of these symptoms. If your symptoms are more concerning, please call your primary health care provider before coming into a clinic, urgent care center or emergency room. Your primary care provider is your best resource for identifying the safest way to receive care.”


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