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St. Charles to ease visitor policy as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations continue to decline

KTVZ file

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Starting next Monday, the four St. Charles hospitals across Central Oregon will no longer require visitors to show proof of vaccination, although wearing a mask will still be mandatory, officials announced Thursday as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ease.

Signs posted at hospital entrances still will encourage some visitors to leave, including those who have respiratory symptoms, have a pending COVID-19 test or who have been in contact with a known or suspected COVID-19 case in the last 14 days.

Visitor screening does not apply to those seeking medical treatment or COVID-19 testing, the organization said.

Additionally, all patients — including those who are positive for COVID-19 — will be allowed two visitors at a time, who may come and go from the hospital as needed. The exception is the Emergency Department, where only one visitor will be allowed.

In some cases, visitors may be required to wear additional personal protective equipment for their safety.

“Two years ago, we instituted visitor restrictions to keep our caregivers and patients safe,” said Debbie Robinson, St. Charles Bend’s chief nursing officer. “We’re in a different place now. The number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are low in our community, and we have vaccines and many effective treatments available.”

Door screeners will continue to be posted at hospital entrances through Friday, April 8 to help educate the community as this transition takes place.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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