Starting Oct. 18, visitors to St. Charles facilities must be fully vaccinated
To further protect its patients and caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Charles Health System will soon require that visitors to any of its hospitals or clinics be fully vaccinated.
Effective Oct. 18, visitors will only be allowed if they provide acceptable proof that they are fully vaccinated. On Oct. 18, health care workers are also required to be fully vaccinated by the state of Oregon. See our Visitor Guidelines page for more.
“We know what an important role visitors and support persons play in a patient’s healing process,” said Dr. Jeff Absalon, the health system’s chief physician executive. “However, throughout this pandemic, safety has been our top priority. With this as our guide, we have had to make changes to our visitor policy to keep our patients, caregivers and others safe.”
A person is considered fully vaccinated if at least two weeks have passed since they received their second dose of a two-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna) or a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson).
Acceptable proof of vaccination is:
- A COVID-19 vaccination record card
- A copy or digital picture of the vaccination record card
- A print-out from the Oregon Health Authority’s immunization registry
- A screenshot or printout from an electronic medical record showing vaccination status
- A St. Charles Health System badge with a COVID vaccination sticker
Unvaccinated visitors will only be allowed under extraordinary circumstances. This could include a visitor to a patient in comfort care, a parent of a pediatric patient or a baby in the NICU, a person accompanying an obstetric patient, a “support person” as defined by Oregon law or an emergency response worker who may need to enter a hospital or clinic while on duty.
Currently, patients who are positive for COVID-19 are not allowed any visitors. This will continue to be the case regardless of a visitor’s vaccination status. Virtual visits for COVID-19 patients are still encouraged to support the family’s involvement.
All other patients have the right to at least one fully vaccinated visitor per day provided the visitor is 12 or older. That same visitor may come and go throughout the same day.
“We want nothing more than to return to ‘normal,’ but we’re just not there yet,” Absalon said. “As a health system, we must continue to be hypervigilant about controlling the spread of the virus in our facilities. We owe that to our patients, many of whom are medically fragile, and to our hard-working caregivers, who put themselves at risk every day to care for our community.”
About St. Charles Health System
St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, Ore., owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond. It also owns family care clinics in Bend, Madras, La Pine, Prineville, Redmond and Sisters. St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 4,600 caregivers. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities.