Good Samaritan is continuing to implement more strategies to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in its health care facilities. Beginning Monday, May 11 Good Samaritan will require that anyone entering Good Samaritan facilities, including Physician Network offices, must wear a face mask. This will include Good Samaritan staff, patients and visitors, regardless of symptoms.
Robin McDonald, Infection Prevention Coordinator, said this is an enhanced source control strategy to prevent transmission. "For source control to be effective, it requires that everyone wear a mask within the health care buildings to prevent droplet spread and, to a lesser degree, aerosol spread of respiratory viruses, such as COVID-19."
President and CEO, Rob McLin, said due to businesses reopening in the community and more people seeking health care services, this extra step of prevention is just an increased measure to protect those in Good Samaritan facilities. "The safety of our patients, staff and visitors is of the utmost importance to Good Samaritan," McLin added. "Thus far, we have been doing an excellent job with controlling our environment and keeping our facility safe from the spread of respiratory illness. As our communities begin to reopen we want to continue making sure we are doing everything we can to prevent COVID-19 transmission."
Patients and visitors will be instructed to wear a cloth mask when entering any Good Samaritan building. Those who arrive without a mask will be provided with one to use throughout their visit. Patients may only remove their mask when they are alone in a hospital room or exam room.
All Good Samaritan employees will also be required to wear a face mask when entering the building and while in common areas like hallways, meeting rooms and the cafeteria. Masking for employees will not be required when the employee is working in a private office or cubicle. Employees will also be staggering meals and breaks by space and time to ensure that a 6-foot distance can be maintained when staff need to remove their masks. Those employees in direct patient care will wear a procedural mask with all patient interaction, unless the task involves aerosolizing procedures, then an N95 mask will be required.
McLin stated that he hopes the community will embrace this additional safety measure the hospital is taking. "COVID-19 brought forth a lot of fear in our community which led to our patients being afraid to seek care," he added. "We want to make sure that our patients know Good Samaritan is here to care for them and that we are doing everything possible to ensure their health care visit is safe. We don't want our patients to delay their health care needs due to fear."
Because of this new universal masking policy, Good Samaritan is still seeking donations of cloth masks for patients to use in the facilities. If you have masks to donate, those donations can be dropped off in a bin outside of the Health Pavilion entrance Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Information about the coronavirus and the hospital's current restrictions can be found at gshvin.org/coronavirus.