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Preventing spread of increasing respiratory viruses

20 Nov 2022

Visitor restrictions begin Nov. 21

By: Carolyn Wiens, RN, BSN, CIC, Infection Prevention manager

Many of you have probably seen the news about the increase in respiratory viruses in Oregon and throughout the U.S. These viruses — respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, rhinovirus/enterovirus, and COVID — are present in Salem and increasing every day.

To protect patients and staff, we are implementing visitor restrictions at Salem and West Valley hospitals.

Hospital entrances will include signage with the following guidance starting Nov. 21:

  • No visitors age 12 or under allowed, with the exception of healthy siblings in the Mother-Baby Unit and Labor & Delivery.
  • Do not visit if you are sick or have been in contact with someone who is sick. You can spread respiratory viruses before symptoms appear.
  • Wash your hands, either with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your cough/sneeze, using your sleeve or a tissue.
  • Visit only if you need to give support or care for a patient.

Even with these restrictions in place, clinical staff may use their judgment to waive these restrictions in situations that are warranted, such as end of life care. For questions, contact