Visitor Restrictions at VAPORHCS - VA Portland Health Care System
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Visitor Restrictions at VAPORHCS

Important Visitor Restrictions at VA Portland Health Care System Facilities

Please, help limit the spread of the flu, COVID-19 and other illnesses by following these important measures. Thank you!

By VAPORHCS
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Help limit the spread of  COVID-19, the flu, and other illnesses

All VA Portland Health Care System clinics and operations are operating normally EXCEPT for the updated visitor and patient restrictions/guidelines below.  

VA Portland Health Care System is asking patients, staff and visitors to help slow the spread of infection. 

Effective immediately, visitations to all VA Portland facilities are limited.

The following visitation safeguards are currently in place:

  • No sick visitors are allowed
    • Effective 12 p.m., March 12, 2020, visitors are no longer allowed to visit the Community Living Center (CLC) located on the Vancouver VA campus . Visitation is only granted to those who have a Veteran that is currently on hospice care at the CLC, if the visitor is trained to assist with care of the Veteran or is needing to be trained to assist with the Veteran’s upcoming discharge from the CLC. 
    • Portland VA Medical Center Inpatient Ward 8D in building 100 is restricted to all visitors.
    • Starting the second week of March 2020, entrances to the Portland VA Medical Center and Vancouver VA campus facilities will be limited to facilitate screening of people for symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath before entry.
    • Outpatients should come to appointments alone if possible, but may bring only one person with them.
    • *Visitors are limited to immediate family members or designated caregivers. 
    • Inpatients may have only one visitor in the building at a time.
    • No children under 18.
    • Bedside visitation will not be allowed for patients in isolation for COVID-19 ( suspect or confirmed) .

    All patients and visitors are reminded to wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after visitation / appointment.

    Exceptions may be made for visitors of patients to include those who are in critical condition or in end-of-life situations.

    Additional policies restricting visitors may be put in place on certain specialty units or as conditions warrant.

    Call VA Portland at 503-220-8262, option 2 to relay a message to your Primary or Specialty Care team or to make change or cancel an appointment.

    Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    VA Portland Health Care System is prepared to care for patients arriving with respiratory illnesses, and plans are in effect to ensure ongoing preparedness to care for any Veterans suspected of having or confirmed with the newly named COVID-19.

    VAPORHCS is actively participating with state and local public health authorities and health systems across the metro area to coordinate a regional response. The goal is to contain the spread of the virus.

    The best way for all of us to prevent the spread of the new virus is the same as we prevent the spread of influenza and other viruses: Practice good hand hygiene, observe respiratory etiquette (including by sneezing or coughing into your elbow rather than your hands), and stay home when ill.

    With respect to patients and visitors, anyone with respiratory symptoms who thinks they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should first call their health care clinician before going into a clinic, urgent care center or Emergency Department so that provisions can be made to minimize exposure of other patients.

    Who to call?

    Veterans, please use MyHealtheVet or call VA Portland at 503-220-8262, option 2 to relay a message to your Primary or Specialty Care team or to make change or cancel an appointment. 

    How it is spread

    The virus is most likely spread like other respiratory viruses, so the care that you would normally take to avoid catching the flu is a good start for preventing the spread of COVID-19. The best way for all of us to prevent the spread of the new virus is to practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands frequently, covering your cough or sneeze in your elbow and not your hands, and staying home when ill.

    If you 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 that 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 (e.g., oncologist, cardiologist, etc.) before coming into a clinic, urgent care center or emergency room. Your primary care provider is your best resource for screening.

    Stay home when you are sick                                                      

    • Get your flu shot
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash and do hand hygiene.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Avoid unnecessary contact with people who have symptoms of respiratory illness.

    Resources

    Oregon Health Authority: Emerging Respiratory Disease

    CDC: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) 

    CDC: Travel health notices

    World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

    Stay connect with VAPORHCS to receive up-to date information by signing up on the main VAPORHCS website under “Connect with VA Portland Health Care System” or follow us on Facebook.

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