Starting Monday, May 4, Samaritan Health Services will require 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 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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 are:
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 six 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.