Good Shepherd Health Care System Reverts to Limited Visitation Policy


With the continued spread of COVID-19 infection, and particularly the new Omicron variant, Good Shepherd Health Care System (GSHCS) has returned to a limited-visitation policy in an effort to keep patients, staff, vendors and visitors safe.

GSHCS is working closely with Umatilla County Public Health, the Oregon Health Authority, and is following guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to prepare its health care system as the county continues to experience a surge in cases and hospitalizations.

In a press release issued today, GSHCS made the following statement:

Providing a safe environment for our patients and staff is of the upmost importance and thus GSHCS has implemented a limited visitation policy as a protective measure to reduce the risk of spreading infection.  This visitor restriction is in accordance with the recommendations from the CDC and other health authorities.  GSHCS encourages patients and loved ones to communicate with phone and video calls whenever possible, and our staff can help with internet/device access when needed.

Effective immediately, no visitors are allowed for patients admitted to the hospital or being seen in the Emergency Department. One visitor per day may be allowed for:

    1. Children admitted to the hospital
      1. One parent/guardian of children admitted may stay with the minor child 24/7
      2. No infant/child patient under five years of age shall be left unattended
    2. Patients receiving end-of-life or palliative care
    3. Other special circumstances, as needed
      1. Special circumstances may be determined by the Nurse Manager, Nursing Supervisor, or Vice President of Nursing
      2. Special circumstances shall be communicated to Patient Financial Services for access privileges and documented in the patient’s chart
    4. Maternity patients may have one visitor with them through labor, delivery and the initial postpartum recovery time.  This visitor may not depart the hospital during the duration of the patient’s hospitalization.  If they depart, they may not return.  Additional precautions may apply for the care of newborns.

Patients may also qualify for additional support persons pursuant to policy, “Disabled Patients Right to Designate Support Persons.”

If visitors have been approved due to a circumstance as outlined above, visitors must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Visitors will be screened about their health before they can enter the hospital and will be required to wear a mask.
  • The designated visitor must be age 16 or older and healthy (no cold or flu-like symptoms and no fever).
  • Visitors must follow safety guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19, including washing their hands, limiting the surfaces they touch and using any personal protective equipment required by the hospital.
  • Visitors must remain in the patient’s room except during certain care procedures.

For all other services including but not limited to Surgical Services, Diagnostic Imaging, Laboratory, Speech Therapy, Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, Treatment Center and Cancer Center, one parent/guardian may accompany a minor patient.  All clinics within Good Shepherd Medical Group will allow one escort for adult patients (18+) and two escorts for minors (under 18).

For up-to-date GSHCS information, please visit the GSHCS Facebook page or the Good Shepherd website.  A complete copy of Good Shepherd’s current visitation policy can be viewed online. For general COVID-19 questions, community members may call the OHA hotline by dialing 211 from a cell phone (not a landline).  If a community member believes they have been infected by COVID-19 or are exhibiting symptoms such as fever or respiratory illness (cough or shortness of breath), they should call their primary care physician’s office and/or Umatilla County Public Health at 541-278-5432.  For medical emergencies, dial 911.


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