PeaceHealth St. John will again restrict visitors at the hospital due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and the "highly contagious variants," effective Friday morning.
Cowlitz County's seven-day average of COVID-19 cases more than doubled from seven as of July 10 to 15 as of July 20, the most recent complete day, according to the state Department of Health.
“We recognize that having a loved one by a patient’s side is important during a hospital stay, and we do not make this decision lightly,” Chief Administrative Officer Cherelle Montanye said in a press release. “In this situation, we must prioritize the safety of our patients, caregivers and community.”
The hospital has banned visitors on and off since the pandemic began. PeaceHealth also requires all employees to wear personal protective equipment and masks, tests all admitted patients and keeps COVID-19 patients in a dedicated unit, the press release said.
“We urge everyone eligible to get vaccinated if you have not already done so,” Montanye said. “If the public has concerns or questions about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, I strongly recommend they reach out to their health care provider,” she adds.