Samaritan Health Services announced Thursday that to protect patients and reduce exposure of respiratory viruses circulating in the community, visitor restrictions are now in place in birthing units.

The rules are in effect at Samaritan’s five hospitals, including Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis.

The restrictions include no visitors under the age of 12; no visitors with fever or respiratory symptoms, such as cough or shortness of breath; and masking is required for visitors and staff.

In addition, during times of high community spread, Samaritan said it strongly recommends anyone coming into their facilities to wear medical-grade face masks. Staff will be required to mask up during face-to-face contact with patients.

Signage at the entrances will notify visitors of the current masking policy. There may be stronger restrictions noted with signs entering specific sections of the hospital.  

The measures will stay in effect until rates of community spread of respiratory viruses drop to a lower level, Samaritan said.

Samaritan directs people to the Patients and Visitors section on its website for those looking for more information.