Face mask

Photo: Medical-grade face mask, required for all Samaritan patients and visitors.

With the omicron variant of COVID-19 established as the dominant strain in Oregon, and a projected surge of patients expected to peak in the state this month, Samaritan Health Services announces coronavirus testing by appointment only, as well as new facemask requirements at all Samaritan Health Services facilities.

Testing: In an effort to handle the increased demand in an orderly manner, Samaritan will offer COVID-19 testing by appointment only at its drive-up locations in Lincoln City and Newport beginning Tuesday, Jan. 11. Visit samhealth.org/COVIDTesting for more information, hours of operation and to schedule a test. Those without access to the internet may call toll free 844-469-2427.

Samaritan’s drive-up COVID-19 testing sites offer PCR tests. Results typically take one to three days and will be delivered through the MyChart patient portal or with an automated phone message. Notifications through MyChart are more expedient and convenient, and people are encouraged to sign up for a MyChart account. Visit samhealth.org/MyChart to learn more.

Other testing options include home test kits, which can be purchased over the counter at pharmacies or retail stores. Home test kits are appropriate if you are experiencing symptoms that do not require medical attention or have no symptoms but think you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. If you have no symptoms, wait three to five days after the potential exposure to perform the home test.

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms that need medical attention, please contact your primary care provider or visit a Samaritan Urgent Care/Walk-In Clinic near you. Only visit an emergency department if you have life-threatening conditions.

Face masks: Medical-grade face masks, such as the one pictured, are now required in all Samaritan facilities. Patients and visitors may wear their own medical-grade face masks – often known as procedure masks or surgical masks, N95s or KN95s as long as the masks are well fitting and do not have valves. Bandanas, gaiters, face shields and cloth face masks are no longer allowed in Samaritan facilities.

If a patient or visitor does not have a well-fitting, medical-grade face mask, one will be provided to them.

“As cases of the omicron variant surge in our community, this measure has been put in place to keep patients, visitors, and our health care teams as healthy and safe as possible,” said Adam Brady, MD, infectious disease physician and chair of Samaritan’s coronavirus task force. “Well-fitting face masks will help keep the Samaritan health care team healthy and maintain the capacity of our hospitals and clinics to provide care to the community. We appreciate everyone doing what they can to minimize the spread of coronavirus.”

For more information about Samaritan Health Services’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including information about vaccination and testing, visit samhealth.org/Coronavirus.

Samaritan Health Services continues to join the Centers for Disease Control and Oregon Health Authority in recommending COVID-19 vaccination, and boosters, as the first line of defense against COVID-19. Visit samhealth.org/GetTheVaccine for information about the authorizations and recommendations for various age groups and vaccination opportunities near you.

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