Mar 11, 2020, 18:03 PM
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Keep in mind that most COVID-19 cases do not require hospitalization or even clinic visits. People who have mild symptoms should stay home and treat their illness as they would any other viral infection.
The Oregon Health Authority notified Salem Health that a patient in our care has tested as a presumptive positive case for the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
Salem Health has had procedures in place for several weeks to reduce exposure to others in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case. Risk of infection for other patients, visitors or staff at Salem Health due to this case is mitigated because of the strict adherence to safety protocols in place at the hospital.
Salem Health Hospitals & Clinics began monitoring reports about the novel coronavirus following its emergence in December 2019 and continue to follow developments closely. In January, frontline staff began implementing routine screening protocols for the novel coronavirus during patient check-in / appointment scheduling. In recent weeks, an internal task force has been meeting daily to discuss supplies, logistics, emergency management processes and protocols, and other necessary measures to ensure the health of our patients, visitors, students and employees.
We encourage everyone to take everyday precautions to avoid spreading germs. Because COVID-19 is an infectious disease, we expect to see more cases. But if we all follow these best practices, we can minimize the impact COVID-19 has on our community.
Everyday precautions include:
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoiding touching your face.
- Staying home when you are sick.
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throwing the tissue in the trash.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
We also encourage everyone in our community to keep in mind that most COVID-19 cases do not require hospitalization or even clinic visits. If someone is experiencing a medical emergency, they should call 911 or go to the nearest ER. Patients who are not having an emergency, but who still need medical care, should call their primary care or urgent care clinic before going in. This allows staff to screen patients over the phone to help reduce the risk of spreading germs. People who have mild symptoms should stay home and treat their illness as they would any other viral infection.
Salem Health continues to follow the established criteria for testing at the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory. This determination includes hospitalization of a patient. For that reason, Salem Health does not offer outpatient testing for COVID-19.
Salem Health has been, and still is, coordinating closely with local county health departments (Marion and Polk) and the Oregon Health Authority to prepare for and manage any suspected cases.
About Salem Health
Salem Health offers exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley. It comprises hospitals in Salem and Dallas, a medical group of primary and specialty care providers, plus other affiliated services. Visit us at www.salemhealth.org; “Like” us on www.facebook.com/salemhealth; follow us on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at www.youtube.com/salemhealth.
Media contact: Salem Health 24-hour media relations line — 971-718-3157.