Salem Health Announces Heightened Visitor Restrictions

Posted on March 16, 2020

To reduce exposure and slow the spread of COVID-19 as well as protect patients and caregivers and to preserve critical safety supplies, Salem Health is restricting all visitors at its hospitals in Salem and Dallas (West Valley Hospital) until further notice according to a press release on Sunday.

“This is a difficult decision, but it is the right one for the health of our community, for those who are hospitalized and to protect the health of our employees,” said Elijah Penner, hospital spokesperson.

As an alternative to visiting a family member or friend at either Salem Hospital or West Valley Hospital, please telephone or video call them.

No visitors will be allowed to visit patients in isolation for infection prevention, barring extenuating circumstances.


Assuming the visitor is healthy and over the age of 12, the following exceptions will be made:

  • Obstetric, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and pediatric patients may have one designated visitor accompany them.
  • Patients who are at end of life may have one visitor at a time.
  • Patients undergoing surgery or procedures may have one visitor who must leave the hospital as soon as patient recovery is complete.
  • Patients who have an appointment at a Salem Health Medical Group clinic, laboratory, radiology, or who are seeking care in the Emergency Department, may have one person with them only if required for physical or mental assistance.
  • Case-by-case exceptions will be considered by the unit’s nurse leader based upon unusual circumstances.

Guests who meet one of these exceptions will be allowed inside the hospital, but are restricted to the patient’s room and direct travel to and from the patient’s room and hospital entrances/exits, unless clinically required diversions are necessary, such as to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription.

Salem Health will review and revisit this decision as the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve.

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