The recent changes to state and national rules about masking in health care settings has led to a review of Salem Health Hospital and Clinics’ current COVID-related policies and practices.
Over the past three years, new rules have piled on top of old rules as conditions changed, and it will take us some time to unravel everything.
What should you expect?
Masking: As of April 3, masking is no longer required in most health care settings. Patients, staff and providers may continue to mask if they wish. Masks will be available at public entrances, or patients may wear their personal mask (cloth or otherwise) if they choose. Note that masks are still required in certain areas — a nurse will let you know if you need to put on a mask to visit a particular patient.
Visitor restrictions: Limits on visitors and support people were lifted several months ago. We’ve also dropped most restrictions on eating and drinking in patient rooms.
Plexiglass barriers: These will be removed as time allows, with a goal to have all plexiglass removed by the end of June.
Drinking fountains: These will reopen gradually. Each will need to be flushed and cleaned before reopening, which will occur as time allows.
Phone messages: We are working to determine which, if any, of our pre-recorded messages talk about masking requirements, visitor restrictions or other outdated pandemic rules. These will be updated as they are discovered.
Volunteering: Our volunteer program is back in full swing! If you are interested in becoming a hospital volunteer, visit salemhealth.org/volunteers.
In many ways, COVID restrictions have become part of our daily practice and lifestyle. We ask for your patience and grace while we find our way back to something that looks more like a pre-pandemic health care experience. As changes keep coming, we will continue to follow our internal standards as well as recommendations from state and national agencies.Thank you for all of your kind words and support during the height of the pandemic! We look forward to caring for you and seeing your smiles again.