Oregon State Hospital testing all staff amid COVID-19 outbreak

Oregon State Hospital in Salem is testing about 1,900 employees in response to a COVID-19 outbreak tied to one of its units, according to an Oct. 20 notice on the Oregon Health Authority website.

Three patients and six staff from the Lighthouse 2 unit have tested positive for the coronavirus at the public psychiatric facility, hospital officials said in the notice. The unit has been under quarantine since Oct. 15.

Officials said all patients from the unit have been tested, with three positive results. Fifteen additional patients who were exposed but tested negative are being treated as “persons under monitoring” on Lighthouse 2. The three positive patients and 15 others will remain on their units for at least 14 days.

Hospital officials said they are also working with the state to test all staff on the Salem campus, as well as any Junction City staff who have worked on the Salem campus since Sept. 28. 

“While we do not believe the exposure is hospitalwide, we are proceeding with the greatest amount of caution and safety,” the hospital said. 

Other measures being taken by Oregon State Hospital include suspending patient visitation to all except hospice patients; creating protective units for high-risk patients; canceling patient community outings, with exceptions; and opening three admissions-monitoring units. Hospital officials said that’s in addition to other steps such as screening patients twice daily for COVID-19 symptoms; contact-tracing for anyone with a confirmed COVID-19 case; sending workers home to self-monitor as necessary; and screening all patients and staff who enter the facility for virus symptoms. 


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