Masks required for all Samaritan patients, visitors

As of Monday, May 4, Samaritan Health Services is requiring all patients and visitors to wear a face mask or face covering when they visit any Samaritan hospital, clinic or other facility.

Simple cloth coverings, such as bandannas or scarves, may be used.

All Samaritan staff are required to wear a face mask while at work as well.

This policy is in line with Centers for Disease Control recommendations to protect all individuals in Samaritan facilities from possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.

CDC guidelines now call for cloth masks or face coverings to be worn in public settings, especially where other social distancing measures aren’t easily accomplished.

The CDC offers tips on how to make simple face masks from common household items at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.

In addition, all patients, visitors and staff will be:

– Screened for coronavirus symptoms, including cough and fever, upon entry to any facility.

– Asked to practice careful hand hygiene and infection prevention, including washing or sanitizing hands often and covering coughs and sneezes.

– Asked to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and others wherever possible, and observe one-way traffic flows where they are in place.

Visitor restrictions are also in place at all Samaritan facilities. Further information about Samaritan’s practices to keep staff, patients and visitors safe can be found at samhealth.org/Coronavirus.

Also, Samaritan is offering COVID-19 testing to any patient with a clinician’s order who has symptoms of the virus – such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste, sore throat, and muscle aches or pains or any cold or flu-like symptoms.

It is still very important to call first or do a telehealth visit to be assessed, so your clinician can coordinate testing and monitor your symptoms. By calling ahead or completing a telehealth visit, Samaritan can ensure that it is taking all necessary precautions to keep patients and health care staff safe.

For a telehealth appointment, call your primary care provider. Find out more at samhealth.org/Telehealth.

If a test is ordered, Samaritan will schedule a date, time and location for the patient to be tested. Patients who arrive at a testing site without a scheduled appointment will be turned away and instructed to call their primary care provider or do a MyChart “Coronavirus Concerns” visit.

For more information, visit samhealth.org/Coronavirus.

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