Go Back

Updates to COVID-19 policies over the last two weeks

05 Jul 2020

Testing, mandatory masking and more

By: Ben Mendoza, public information officer and interim director of marketing and communications

Last week, the Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics reconvened the incident command team to bring an enhanced focus on improving the safety of our staff, providers, patients and visitors. Key areas of focus for the incident command team were:

  • Developing a testing plan for all employees of Salem Health.
  • Bringing visibility to and increasing universal masking and eye protection compliance.
  • Establishing standards that allow staff to socially distance successfully in our facilities.

The team operationalized a plan to open diagnostic testing to all Salem Health employees for a three-week period (ending July 17, 2020) as a way to seek out the asymptomatic cases within our employee base.

Updates were made to the universal masking and eyewear standard work. The key takeaways are that all staff must wear:

  • Masks in indoor and outdoor public-facing areas
  • Eye protection if caring for a COVID-19-positive or pending patient.
  • Eye protection within six feet of any patient who is not wearing a mask if staff contact will be greater than or equal to 15 minutes per episode.

Finally, Facilities removed furniture that made social distancing difficult to accomplish in break rooms and common areas.

As prevention remains the best solution to COVID-19, we as health care professionals are responsible for being examples for how to model safety during a pandemic. Thank you for your courage and professionalism in modeling that behavior.