Oregon State Hospital and COVID

This post documents the impact of COVID on the Oregon State Hospital. COVID arrived in Oregon March 2020.


First OSH patient tests positive for COVID-19
OHA PRESS RELEASE Thursday, October 15, 2020

Oregon State Hospital is reporting its first patient to test positive for COVID-19.

The patient began exhibiting symptoms Oct. 11 and was immediately tested for the virus and moved to the hospital’s quarantine unit. The test results came back late Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Since April 1, 26 OSH staff have reported positive tests; however, this is the first patient case. Medical and clinical staff are working together with the patient to meet both their physical and mental health needs.

“We have been preparing for this eventuality, and we are fortunate to have incredibly dedicated and passionate staff who are skilled at working with this unique population, and we are at our best in times like this,” said Dolly Matteucci, Oregon State Hospital superintendent. “Protecting the health, safety and well-being of both our patients and staff remains our top priority.”

Staff are working to educate and support all patients, explaining testing procedures and other steps the hospital is taking to prevent the spread of the virus.

As with all the staff cases, the hospital is conducting contact tracing to identify everyone with whom the patient has had close contact. Patients determined to be at risk will be monitored for symptoms, tested and transitioned to the quarantine unit as necessary. At-risk staff will be sent home to self-monitor, with instructions to reach out to their personal health care providers.

Because this case is epidemiologically connected to the three most recent staff cases by location and time, the hospital will quarantine all of the patients on the original unit for a period of 14 days. All patients and staff who worked on the original unit will be tested for COVID-19 and not be allowed to go anywhere else in the hospital.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Oregon State Hospital has been working with state epidemiologists to take comprehensive precautions to protect the health of both patients and staff.

READ – OSH Temporary Admission Restriction (PDF)


Oregon State Hospital Reports First Positive COVID Test For Patient
From The Lund Report – October 15, 2020

The Oregon State Hospital has had its first patient test positive for coronavirus, the Salem facility announced Thursday afternoon.

State hospital spokeswoman Rebeka Gipson-King said the patient has been quarantined, as have the 19 other patients who live in the same unit.

She said she couldn’t give an update about the patient’s current condition, but said the patient began showing symptoms Oct. 11 and was immediately tested and quarantined.

While this is the first reported positive case for a patient, the state hospital has reported that 26 staff members have tested positive for the virus since the beginning of April.

Gipson-King said the three most recent staff to test positive all worked on the same unit where the patient lives, known as “Lighthouse 2.” All tested positive within the last four days.

All patients who live on the same unit as the COVID-positive patient, as well as all staff who work on that unit, are being tested, Gipson-King said.


Patient at Oregon State Hospital tests positive for COVID-19
KPTV.com – October 15, 2020

Oregon State Hospital on Thursday reported its first patient to test positive for COVID-19.

The patient started showing symptoms on Sunday and was immediately tested and moved to the the hospital’s quarantine unit. The test results returned positive late Wednesday.

This is the first coronavirus case at the public psychiatric hospital involving a patient, though staff members have reported positive tests since April 1, according to a spokesperson.

“We have been preparing for this eventuality, and we are fortunate to have incredibly dedicated and passionate staff who are skilled at working with this unique population,” Dolly Matteucci, Oregon State Hospital superintendent, said. “Protecting the health, safety and well-being of both our patients and staff remains our top priority.”


Employee at Oregon State Hospital tests positive for coronavirus
From Salem Reporter – April 2, 2020

An employee at the state-run mental hospital in Salem has tested positive for COVID-19. The state notified staff Wednesday evening, saying no patients so far have been infected.

An employee at the Oregon State Hospital has tested positive for COVID-19, the second large state institution in Salem to report an infected staffer.

The Oregon Health Authority on Wednesday evening notified all state hospital employees.

“There are no confirmed patient cases and none out for testing,” the agency said in its notification.

Rebeka Gipson-King, a Health Authority spokesman, said the agency wouldn’t release any information about the employee, including whether the infected individual had any contact with patients. She said the employee did work inside the secure area of the hospital.