Health & Wellness

Covid surges for unvaxxed: PeaceHealth restricting visitors, sets mandates

SPRINGFIELD – PeaceHealth officials, facing a surge in Covid patients and packed ICUs during the circulation of the highly contagious variants, instituted restrictions for visitor access that took effect on Aug. 3. 

“We recognize the importance of having loved ones visit patients in our hospitals and made this decision only after careful consideration,” said Todd Salnas, chief executive of the PeaceHealth Oregon network. “Our priority is the health and safety of our patients, caregivers and community.”  

PeaceHealth continues to follow CDC and state guidelines that include requiring all employees to wear appropriate personal protective equipment and masks, testing all admitted patients, restricting visitors and caring for COVID-19 patients on a dedicated unit. 

The restrictions apply to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, Cottage Grove Community Medical Center, Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, and Peace Harbor Medical Center in Florence.

According to OHA, in June, 92% of the 7,241 COVID-19 cases and 94% of the 63 COVID-19-associated deaths occurred in unvaccinated Oregonians.

OHA also reported that the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 379, which is 39 more than the previous day (Sunday, Aug. 1). 

There are 119 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, through Aug. 2, which is 17 more than the previous day. 

There were 27 COVID-19 patients at Riverbend on Tuesday, Aug. 3, according to spokesperson Sherri Buri McDonald. That was up from 15 on July 27 and from 11 on July 20, she said.

On the first Thursday of each month, OHA publishes an update on vaccine breakthrough cases identified in the state. The findings shared in the last report, from July 1, indicate that this number remains small when compared to the more than 2.3 million people who have completed a COVID-19 vaccination series, OHA stated in a news release.

“We urge all who are eligible to get vaccinated if they have not already done so,” said Dr. Jim McGovern, PeaceHealth Oregon’s chief medical officer. “We recommend that anyone who has questions or concerns about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine reach out to their healthcare provider.” 

As of Aug. 3, 2,498,256 people have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 2,316,952 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series in Oregon, the OHA said.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, here is a look at Covid cases in Lane County through Monday, Aug. 2, by the top three age groups – 35-64: 137, 654 … 15-24: 59,807 … Under-15: 57,160 

PeaceHealth officials made exceptions for visitors who are not positive for or suspected to have COVID-19, including two support persons for end-of-life patients and two parents/legal guardians of a minor patient. 

Exceptions for patients who have confirmed COVID-19 include one visitor for patients receiving end-of-life care.

Area school districts continue to monitor recommendations from the CDC, OHA and state Departement of Education in adjusting policies for in-person classes this school year.



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