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Visitor Policy for VA Portland Health Care System

This web page provides the current policy and procedures for all persons visiting VA Portland facilities.

As of October 20, 2021.


Masks are required in all VA Portland facilities. 


Visitation at ALL VA Portland facilities is limited due to COVID-19 & to ensure Veteran, visitor, and staff safety.

Help us limit the spread of COVID-19, the flu, and other illnesses to our Veterans and your loved ones. Please read for more detail. Screening is in process at all facilities.

Paper masks are required to be worn by all patients, caregivers, escorts and staff while on VA Portland facility property. VA Portland will provide approved masks. Homemade or other cloth masks are not allowed in VA Portland facilities except for staff ONLY when arriving and when leaving work at end of the day.


The following visitation safeguards are currently in place...

Outpatient settings;

(1) Visitors are allowed during appointment hours only.
(2) Veterans receiving care at any outpatient location within VA Portland Health Care System may have one visitor >/= 12 year age with them while receiving clinical care.
(3) In addition (to the one visitor), patients may be accompanied by an essential companion if that companion has been determined by the care team to be therapeutic for the patient’s care. This companion is not considered a visitor.
(4) Exceptions to the >/= 12 year age requirement may apply in individual circumstances based on the situation. Any child > 2 years must wear a paper mask.

Emergency Department Visits;

(1) No visitors are allowed at this time. Only essential companions are allowed to accompany patients.
(2) Exceptions to the >/= 12 year age requirement may apply in individual circumstances based on the situation. Any child > 2 years must wear a paper mask.


Inpatient settings;

For COVID-19 negative patients on the Medical/Surgical Units or Critical Care Unit;

(1) One in-person visitor will be allowed at a time.
(2) Visiting hours are 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
(3) Patients will be allowed up to two visitors at a time with no specified visiting hours for end-of-life or other important situations as determined by the clinical team, including but not limited to:
     (a) In-person training is indicated in preparation for discharge (e.g., home IV antibiotics, wound care teaching);
     (b) In-person assessment is required by a facility (e.g. foster or group home), Medicaid, or Adult Protective Services;
     (c) A family care planning meeting is necessary for facilitation and coordination of complex care decisions (e.g. goals of care, transition to hospice, complex discharge coordination);
     (d) The patient has received a new, life-threatening diagnosis which will necessitate remaining inpatient, or will undergo an urgent/emergent unplanned major medical treatment during this hospitalization.
(4) Patients will be allowed one companion outside visiting hours if the companion has been determined by the care team to be therapeutic for the patient’s care (e.g. patients with cognitive impairment, sensory impairment, mobility impairment, disorientation, or behavioral challenges). This companion is not considered a visitor; the patient may have one visitor at a time during visitor hours.

For COVID-19 positive patients or a person under investigation (PUI) (for COVID-19) on the Medical/Surgical Units or Critical Care Unit;

(1) There are no routine in-person visitors allowed at this time.
(2) For EOL or other urgent situations, patients will be allowed up to two visitors at a time with no specified visiting hours.
(3) Those visiting COVID-19 positive/PUI patients at end-of-life or for other urgent situations will be permitted to enter the Veteran’s room only after:
     (a) Being educated to and verbally acknowledging the increased personal risk of COVID-19 infection related to making the visit; and
     (b) Donning all personal protective equipment (PPE) with nursing assistance. The visitor will be required to don an N95 respirator/mask and will need to self-check the seal as per Visitor N95 Instructions. If the visitor is unable to don PPE appropriately, visitation will not be permitted and alternate means of communication with the Veteran will be needed.

Acute Inpatient Psych Unit (5C);

There are no in-person visitors allowed at this time with limited exceptions including:
     (a) In-person assessment required prior to discharge by a facility or outside agency;
     (b) family care planning meeting necessary for facilitation and coordination of complex care decisions;
     (c) and end-of-life situations.


For ALL Visitors on the Medical/Surgical Units or CCU, regardless of patient COVID-19 status;

(1) Visitors must be > 12 years old. The facility will not provide oversight of visitors;
(2) All visitors are required to wear paper face masks at all times including in the patient’s room. Paper face masks must cover the mouth and nose; face shields are not allowed as a substitute. For COVID-19 Negative patients, paper masks are appropriate for visitors. For COVID-19 Positive or PUI patients, additional PPE will be required.
(3) Visitors will be educated about hand hygiene, to include how and when to perform; and
(4) The healthcare team reserves the right to limit visitors due to space or behavior constraints. At no time may the presence of visitors interfere with the care of the patient.
(5) For Single Patient Rooms: Visitors are expected to stay inside the patient room as much as possible and refrain from eating and drinking when inside the room. The patient may eat and/or drink during the visit.
(6) For Shared Occupancy Patient Rooms.
     (a) Visitors are expected to stay inside the patient room as much as possible and refrain from eating and/or drinking when inside the room. The patient may eat and/or drink during the visit.
     (b) Curtain(s) must remain drawn at all times when a visitor is present.
     (c) All patients in the room must wear paper masks whenever a visitor is present (when not eating).
     (d) Visitor(s) may be required to step out of the room when staff enter to allow for adequate social distancing.
     (e) For urgent situations where the care team has approved two visitors for a patient in a shared occupancy room, additional visitors for the other patient(s) may be asked to step out of the room to allow for adequate social distancing and privacy. These visits should be limited to no more than two hours to not unnecessarily curtail the visitation rights of the roommate.


For Veterans in the CLC and RRTP, please contact the respective care teams to discuss;

  • Vancouver Community Living Center (CLC) (503-220-8262 Ext. 34608)
  • Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (RRTP) (503-220-8262  Ext. 33621) 

Do not visit if you have any of the following;

  • Fever (> 100◦), new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, muscle or body aches, loss of taste or smell, unexplained or new diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Have tested positive for COVID in the past 14 days
  • Have had close contact with anyone known to have COVID

Patient and approved visitor requirements;

     Wear only approved paper masks or those provided by VA Portland.

  • Mask must be worn even when in the patient’s room.
  • The mask must cover nose and mouth.
  • No face shields. No cloth masks.

    While in the Patient’s Room;

  • Stay in the patient’s room. Do not go in & out.
  • Use patient call light for all questions.
  • Do not eat in room. Do not bring food to patient.
  • Do not use patient bathroom.
  • Use call light to ask for location of visitor bathroom.

Thank you for your help in keeping everyone safe!

Additional policies restricting visitors may be put in place on certain specialty units or as conditions warrant.


Veterans - call VA Portland at 503-220-8262 , option 2 to relay a message to your Primary or Specialty Care team or to make change or cancel an appointment.


If you have any questions about your appointment...

....please contact your provider; 503-220-8262 , option 2 to make change or cancel an appointment or relay a message to your Primary or Specialty Care team.

DO NOT CALL VA Portland about scheduling your COVID vaccination (see web page for COVID vaccination details).

The VAPORHCS Alert Line provides up-to-date information on the operating status of the VAPORHCS' 12 sites of care.
Call 24/7 for a recorded message at 503-721-1458 or 503-220-8262  ext. 51458, Outside Portland Area Toll-free: 800-949-1004, ext. 51458.

 

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