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Visitor Guidelines
Effective Oct. 18, 2021

Visitation to COVID-19 Patients:

Due to the extreme danger of viral transmission, visitors will not be allowed to visit COVID 19 positive inpatients in their rooms, except for pediatric COVID 19 positive inpatients, see below. Visitation of an adult COVID-19 positive patients is encouraged via digital means with technology provided in the unit. Leaders will determine exceptions for extraordinary circumstances as defined below. 

All Other Visitors to St. Charles Hospitals

All non-COVID-19 positive adult hospital patients may have one visitor per day, pediatric and NICU patients see below. Visitors must be (1) fully vaccinated, and (2) meets the screening criteria. If the visitor fails either entrance criteria, that visitor may not enter a St. Charles hospital unless he or she has been granted an exception for extraordinary circumstances as defined below. If allowed access, a visitor may come and go throughout the same 24-hour period, assuming passage of screening criteria each time. For safety, no person below age 12 will be allowed within the hospital absent exceptional circumstances, as defined below. Note that if the patient is entitled to a “support person” under applicable law, that support person shall be counted as the patient’s visitor for that 24-hour period. 

Visitors and any others entering St. Charles Health System hospitals may not engage in disruptive, abusive, threatening, or unsafe practices. A visitor who continues engaging in any such behavior after being asked to cease may be escorted from, the premises immediately.

Categories of “Exceptional Circumstances” where St. Charles Health System hospital access will be allowed even if entrant is not fully vaccinated:

Note for all exceptional cases: Upon arrival, unvaccinated visitors are to go directly to the patient room and directly out of the facility when the visit is over, without exception. Further, all such exceptional visitors shall pass screening criteria, and shall don all PPE as deemed appropriate by staff. 

  • A patient at end of life (comfort care), is allowed TWO visitors per 24-hour period. The two visitors may come in separately or simultaneously. If the patient is entitled to a “support person” under applicable law, that support person shall be counted as one of the two visitors for that 24-hour period. One fully vaccinated member of the clergy or a spiritual representative are encouraged and may visit, in addition to the TWO visitors per day.
  • A pediatric patient is allowed TWO visitors per 24-hour period. The two visitors may come in separately or simultaneously. This includes pediatric patients in isolation. If the pediatric patient is COVID positive, the patient will be allowed one asymptomatic visitor who must remain in the patient room for the duration of his/her stay.
  • A patient in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is allowed TWO visitors per 24-hour period. These visitors must remain in the NICU patient room for the duration of the visit. The mother of the NICU patient may come and go throughout each day if she signs an attestation stating that she will quarantine between the hospital and her residence, and the mother shall count as one of the two allowed visitors for that 24-hour period.  This includes NICU patients in isolation. Visitors, including a parent or legal guardian, must meet screening criteria. No COVID positive visitors will be allowed in the NICU.
  • Obstetric patients, including obstetric patients in isolation, may have ONE visitor per 24-hour period. If the patient is entitled to a “support person” under applicable law, that support person shall be counted as the one visitor for that 24-hour period. The visitor can come and go during the day. 
  • Support persons. If a patient needs assistance to effectively communicate with hospital staff, make health care decisions or engage in activities of daily living due to a disability, ORS 127.635 authorizes the patient to designate a “support person” to be physically present with the patient in the emergency department and during the patient’s admission at the hospital. Support persons are not authorized to be in COVID-19 positive rooms, or in any clinical area where the presence would pose a risk to the safety of the patient, support person or staff. “Disability” is defined in ORS 174.107, and includes but is not limited to:
    • A physical, intellectual, behavioral or cognitive impairment
    • Deafness, being hard of hearing or other communication barrier
    • Blindness
    • Autism
    • Dementia
  • Law enforcement, EMS, fire, other pre-hospital care workers, county child welfare, adult protective services, emergency response crisis workers, or funeral home transport personnel who may need to enter the facility while on duty and responding to extraordinary circumstances. Note that correspondence will be sent to these agencies indicating a preference that no unvaccinated persons be dispatched to St. Charles Health System. Thus, the requested access of such individuals who are unvaccinated constitutes a de facto exceptional circumstance. 
  • Employees of regulatory, licensure, or accreditation agencies when on site to perform essential inspection services, who have presented valid identification, and whose employer agency has verified that no unvaccinated alternative inspector can perform these duties. 
  • When a patient presents to the ED, and is unable to communicate effectively or unable to safely remain in the waiting room without assistance, the triage nurse or screener may grant temporary visitor access to the ED waiting room, pending LIP assessment.
    • When the Licensed Independent Practitioner (LIP) determines that extraordinary circumstances exist such that a patient can be more safely treated with the presence of a visitor.
    • When an unvaccinated person is accompanying a patient who presents to the ED, and the patients deems the presence of the person so critical to treatment that the patient threatens to leave, temporary visitor access may be granted pending clinical assessment of the patient.
    • Following an emergency presentation, when the patient’s condition is fatal or near fatal.
  • Vendors are considered “Visitors,” and will follow St. Charles Health System Hospital Visitors Policy regarding vaccination, including not being allowed on site if unvaccinated. However, some vendors are, at times, deemed mission-essential to attend to an “Emergency,” defined as: A situation in which the absence of rapid (within 60 minutes) action could result in imminent injury to patients, caregivers, or the public. Emergencies include facility disasters (water main break), malfunctioning piece of critical medical equipment. Decision re whether an Emergency exists is made by AOD/House Supervisor, Clinic/Unit Manager or, if neither is available, the attending LIP. If doubt, Incident Commander will determine if the situation is emergent. In the case of an Emergency, unvaccinated vendors essential to attend to that emergency will be allowed into St. Charles Health System facilities to perform their duties, then shall immediately leave the facility. Such vendors shall observe “Emergency Safety Protocol,” defined below.
Patient Assistants at St. Charles Outpatient Clinics 

All patients at a St. Charles outpatient clinic may have one patient assistant per visit provided the patient assistant is (1) fully vaccinated, and (2) meets the screening criteria. A patient assistant who fails either entrance criteria may not enter a St. Charles outpatient clinic unless he or she has been granted an exception for extraordinary circumstances as defined below. 

Patient assistants entering any other St. Charles Health System facility may not engage in disruptive, abusive, threatening, or unsafe practices, and if a visitor does, he/she may be asked to leave, or escorted from, the premises immediately. 

St. Charles Health System Outpatient Clinic Access Exceptions for Extraordinary Circumstances for those Not Fully Vaccinated: 

  • Patient Assistant (Outpatient Clinics). “Support persons” as described above are only legally required in a hospital setting or the ED. A clinic patient has no legal right to demand a “support person” under Oregon law. Notwithstanding, it is recognized that clinic patients may still require assistance. Thus, if a patient needs assistance to effectively communicate with clinic staff or make health care decisions, ONE patient assistant may accompany the patient. This includes persons who are: 
    • Assisting an elderly parent 
    • Assisting with patient - provider communication/language 
    • Assisting a patient with a disability 
    • Domestic partner of an OB patient 
    • Parent or guardian of a minor child 
    • Conservator 
    • Child(ren) of patient, when patient is unable to secure other childcare 
    • Emotional support of a major diagnosis 
  • Law enforcement, EMS, fire, other pre-hospital care workers, county child welfare, adult protective services, or emergency response crisis workers who may need to enter the facility while on duty and responding to extraordinary circumstances. Note that correspondence will be sent to these agencies indicating a preference that no unvaccinated persons be dispatched to St. Charles Health System. Thus, the requested access of such individuals who are unvaccinated constitutes a de facto exceptional circumstance. 
  • Employees of regulatory, licensure, or accreditation agencies when on site to perform essential inspection services, who have presented valid identification, and whose employer agency has verified that no unvaccinated alternative inspector can perform these duties. 
  • Vendors are considered “Visitors,” and will follow St. Charles Health System Hospital Visitors Policy regarding vaccination, including not being allowed on site if unvaccinated. However, some vendors are, at times, deemed mission-essential to attend to an “Emergency,” defined as: A situation in which the absence of rapid (within 60 minutes) action could result in imminent injury to patients, caregivers, or the public. Emergencies include facility disasters (water main break), malfunctioning piece of critical medical equipment. Decision re whether an Emergency exists is made by AOD/House Supervisor, Clinic/Unit Manager or, if neither is available, the attending LIP. If doubt, Incident Commander will determine if the situation is emergent. In the case of an Emergency, unvaccinated vendors essential to attend to that emergency will be allowed into St. Charles Health System facilities to perform their duties, then shall immediately leave the facility. Such vendors shall observe “Emergency Safety Protocol,” defined below. 
Accepted Means of Proof of Vaccination:
  • Proof of vaccination: documentation provided by a tribal, federal, state or local government, or a health care provider, that includes an individual’s name, date of birth, type of COVID-19 vaccination given, date or dates given, depending on whether it is a one-dose or two-dose vaccine, and the name/location of the health care provider or site where the vaccine was administered.
  • Documentation may include but is not limited to:
    • COVID-19 vaccination record card
    • Copy or digital picture of the vaccination record card
    • Print-out from the Oregon Health Authority’s immunization registry
    • Screenshot or printout from an EMR showing vaccination status
    • St. Charles Health System badge with a COVID vaccination sticker
  • Documentation. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, St. Charles will accept the documentation presented as valid
Emergency Safety Protocol 

All non-patients who enter a St. Charles facility must follow the emergency safety protocol. 

  1. Wear well-fitting mask (surgical mask or double masking recommended) at all times within facility 
  2. While in the hospital/clinical area, wear any other PPE that facility personnel deem appropriate 
  3. Physically distance from those not part of group at all times 
  4. Facility access restricted to area(s)required to assist patients or work until leaving facility completely 
  5. AirLink, EMT, Paramedics and other personnel transporting patients as direct admits to the floors, as well as security/prison guards who are attending patients on the inpatient floors of a hospital or in a clinic in non-emergency situations will be approved for entry by the AOD, House Supervisor or Clinic Manager and are subject to the requirements outlined in the “Emergency Safety Protocol" 

If a visitor or patient assistant fails to adhere to the Emergency Safety Protocol, he/she may be asked to leave, or escorted from, the premises immediately. 

Definitions
  1. Patients: Persons seeking medical services at any St. Charles facility including those participating in vaccination clinics, utilizing the Community Pharmacy, or patient education classes where online classes are not available. 
  2. Non-Patient: All others including visitors, support persons, patient assistants, EMS, Law Enforcement, Emergency Response Workers, vendors, students, funeral home transport personnel, members of the medical staff, caregivers. 
  3. Fully Vaccinated means individuals who are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19: two weeks or more after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna or vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization), or two weeks or more after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen). COVID-19 vaccines that are currently authorized for emergency use: 
  4. "WHO Yellow Card" refers to the original World Health Organization International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis issued to the individual following administration of the COVID-19 vaccine in a foreign country 
    • By the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are listed at the FDA COVID-19 Vaccines webpage. 
    • By the World Health Organization (WHO), are listed at the WHO COVID-19 Vaccines webpage.