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Hospitals Prepare For Patient Surge In Lane County, Restrict Visitors


On Tuesday, health officals announced two presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Lane County. One is in a 69-year-old man, who is in stable health and quarintined at home. The other is in a 60-year-old woman who died on March 14 at Sacred Heart Riverbend Medical Center in Springfield.

PeaceHealth hospitals have been preparing for an influx of patients. That includes mobile medical units outside emergency departments.

The first trailer arrived at RiverBend Medical Center in Springfield last Friday. The plan is to use it as a triage area, to reduce the volume of patients in the emergency department and care for those with the most acute symptoms. Besides needing to be prepared for standard emergencies, hospital officials also expect surges of sick people seeking treatment.

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

They say the mobile sites will be used to assess potential COVID-19 patients and determine if they need to check into the E.R.

Credit PeaceHealth Oregon
This trailer will be used as a mobile triage unit if expected surges of patients overwhelm the emergency departments at Sacred Heart RiverBend Medical Center

Meanwhile, PeaceHealth hospitals have increased restrictions on patient access. Only one visitor per patient and no one under 16 will be allowed. Visitors to high-risk areas, like cardiac and Labor and Delivery, must check in at the front desk where they will be asked several screening questions before being granted access.

UPDATED 03/18/20

Restriction Outline From PeaceHealth Oregon 

Visitor Policies:

With the number of COVID-19 cases rising in Oregon, PeaceHealth is now restricting all visitor access, with some exceptions, at our four Lane County hospitals.

These restrictions took effect March 18, at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend, PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center University District, PeaceHealth Cottage Grove Community Hospital and PeaceHealth Peace Harbor Medical Center. They will stay in place until COVID-19 is no longer considered a public health threat.

We are taking this measure out of an abundance of caution and with the benefit of learnings from our healthcare partners in the Seattle area. Our aim is to best protect our patients, caregivers and communities, and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

  • Exceptions to the policy include:
    • One (1) support person to help a patient with mobility challenges or discharge instructions
    • One (1) support person for Emergency Department patients
    • Two (2) parents of a minor patient
    • Two (2) support persons for end-of-life patients
    • Two (2) support persons for Labor and Delivery and Mom-Baby at Sacred Heart RiverBend and Peace Harbor Medical Center

In select situations, we may allow a support person to visit a patient. A support person is defined as someone who has a direct role to play in a patient’s care.
We encourage loved ones to connect with patients through technology, such as cell phones, tablets and laptops.

We want to thank anyone affected by these restrictions for their understanding and help in keeping our patients, caregivers and communities safe and healthy. For more information about the new coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit www.peacehealth.org/coronavirus.

Additional visitation restrictions are in place for these high-risk areas:

  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • Mother-Baby Units
  • Labor & Delivery Unit
  • Pediatrics & Adolescent Care Unit
  • Oncology Unit
  • Critical Care Units
  • Infusion Center
  • Cardiac Unit

No visitors are allowed for patients being evaluated for COVID-19, or who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.
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