By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

WVMC suspends all visits; Providence limits them to one per patient

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

Providence Newberg is still allowing them – but only one per patient.

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,” Willamette Valley Medical Center officials said in a news release.

“We recognize that there are times when having a visitor or family member present is crucial and we will work to accommodate these exceptions,” officials said.

“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, which occurs upon every entry, visitors may be asked to take their temperature, speak further with someone, or return at a later date.

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

“We know that these increased precautions may seem concerning,” Interim CEO Mark Nichols said in a news release.

“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.”

Visitors may not access the hospital at this time, he said, except to see their doctors. “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.”

Providence Newberg Hospital, on its website, says all visitors are being screened for health. Visitors must be 16 years or older, and healthy. Exceptions may be made in special circumstances, and there are different rules in certain areas, including intensive care, maternity/pediatric units, and behavioral health.

“We are promoting video chat as a way to have access to your loved ones during their stay,” the hospital says. “If your family member does not have access to this technology, we are able to assist. Please ask a nurse for assistance.”

Editor's note: This story has been corrected.


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