Pandemic Guidelines for Patients and Visitors

Hospital visitor restrictions in effect!

Masks/face coverings continue to be required at CMH for patients, caregivers in public areas/caring for patients and any visitors until notified otherwise. Hospitals and health care facilities are an exemption listed in the CDC’s May 13, 2021, masking update for vaccinated individuals.

If you need to get tested for COVID-19, make an appointment with the CMH COVID-19 Testing Lab, 503-338-4656. Appointments are available M-F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a break for lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Be Safe While at CMH

Updated 05/17/2021

Welcome! Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH) and CMH Medical Group caregivers are doing everything they can to keep you safe, but we need your help. Please review these guidelines.

Thank you for your cooperation. This is the best way to protect our patients, staff and community from spreading the novel coronavirus. If you need medical care, please call your primary care provider’s office, use a Virtual Urgent Care, or visit an Urgent Care Clinic.

Outpatient Clinics and Urgent Care

  • We encourage adult patients to come to their appointment alone, when possible.
  • Adults who would benefit from the help of a companion may bring one person (12+ years old) to their outpatient (non-hospital) appointment.
  • Minor patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians.

For Patients: Guidelines for receiving care in a clinic

  • Call ahead if you have any of these symptoms:
    • Cough
    • Fever or chills
    • Headache
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Sore throat
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Muscle/body aches or fatigue
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  • Check if your clinic offers telehealth appointments.
  • Come to your appointment alone, when possible. We encourage you to use video chat services as an alternative to in-person care.
  • Adults who would benefit from the help of a companion may bring one person (12 years old or older) to their outpatient (non-hospital) appointment. Minor patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians. See below for guidelines on appointments that are within the hospital (updated 12/04/2020).
  • You must wear a mask at all times, unless a CMH caregiver directs you otherwise.

For Companions: Guidelines for coming along to someone else’s appointment

  • Patients may bring one person 12 or older to an appointment in a non-hospital department. 
  • Consider using a video chat service to “sit in” on appointments when the patient is capable of going to appointment alone, but would like your support.
  • You must wear a mask at all times, even when you are with a patient who is a member of your household.

Family Birthing Center

  • Laboring mothers may have two birth companions (12+ years old) during labor and delivery.
  • One primary companion may stay with the patient during labor, delivery and recovery.
  • The secondary companion may stay during labor and until two hours after delivery. Then, they must leave the hospital.

Read this letter for details about birth partners and visitation for expectant mothers.


Hospital Services

  • Hospital patients may have one visitor (12+ years old) at a time.

For Patients and Visitors: Staying safe while in the hospital

CMH is following the Oregon Health Authority guidelines for screening and entrance to hospitals. Due to increased COVID activity in Clatsop County, CMH is limiting visitors to the hospital. This is a temporary change, and we will continue monitoring the statewide metrics to allow visitors to return when it is safe. For now, special exceptions will be made for patients with special needs or concerns, in accordance with Senate Bill 1606. People who meet these criteria include:

  • Those who cannot care for themselves or who have communication difficulties;
  • Patients at end-of-life;
  • And minor children.

If patients have concerns about seeing their loved ones who are in the hospital, we do have assistive technology, including iPads and tablets, to connect them through a group Skype or phone call. They can call the nursing staff in the patient’s unit to ask about this option.

This policy is only in place for hospitalized inpatients and those with outpatient visits inside the hospital (ED, Lactation Services, Imaging, SDS, Respiratory Therapy). Patients visiting outpatient clinics not located inside the hospital may continue to bring one person (12 years old or older) to their appointments. Minor patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians.


What to Expect

Symptoms of COVID-19

Everyone entering a CMH facility must be screened for COVID-19. This is to protect patients, staff and the community and to comply with Oregon Health Authority mandates. If you feel that you have been inappropriately restricted from CMH, please contact Quality Management at 503-338-7475.

You may be denied entry if:

  • You have symptoms of COVID-19; or
  • You have an exposure risk for COVID-19.

Questions you will be asked:

  1. Do you have symptoms, including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, body aches, or new loss of taste or smell?
  2. Had any contact with known or suspected COVID-19 cases within the last 14 days?
  3. Had any testing for, or diagnosis of COVID 19?
  4. Have you traveled internationally in the last 14 days or on a cruise ship in the last 30 days?

Anyone entering the CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative will also have their temperature taken with a touch-less, infrared thermometer.

Door Hours: Please note that some hospital entrances have been closed or have limited hours.

How to wear a mask properly

Masks are Required

Masks continue to be required for health care organizations and hospitals according to the CDC’s May 13, 2021, updated guidance for vaccinated individuals. If you arrive at a CMH facility without a mask or cloth face covering, you will be given a mask. 

Patients and visitors over the age of five (5) are required to mask unless they have a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a mask. Patients two to five (2-5) years old are strongly recommended, but not required, to wear a mask. Children under two (2) years old are excluded from masking requirements.

Companions or visitors who refuse to wear a mask will be asked to leave unless they have a medical condition that contraindicates wearing a mask and they are essential to the patient’s care. If they have such a medical condition, they should be asked to be present only when absolutely necessary, not talk any more than required to assist the patient, and to practice physical distancing at all times.

Guidelines for all visitors

General Guidelines For Your Safety:

  • Stay at least six feet away from people you do not live with.
  • You must wear a cloth, paper or disposable face covering at all times while indoors. A face covering helps prevent the spread of viruses.
  • Avoid touching your face or mask. If you do touch your face or mask, wash or sanitize your hands right away, before touching anything else.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue. If you use a tissue, throw the tissue away and wash or sanitize your hands right away.
  • Request that your temperature be checked at any time at a CMH Screening Station or Nursing Station.

COVID-19 Updates

Masks continue to be required at CMH for patients, caregivers, and visitors.Learn More