With a high percentage of our health care community now vaccinated (including an astounding 93% of our doctors) and other favorable community metrics, St. John’s Health is slowly and safely beginning to permit visitors back to the hospital and clinics. We are also beginning to plan for visitors in the Living Center, a community that is especially looking forward to seeing loved ones again.
This must be done as safely as possible, with an understanding that more restrictions will be necessary if circumstances deteriorate.
Most patients may now have ONE designated healthy adult visitor or companion per day. Proper masks (no buffs or bandanas) must be worn at all times, in all areas of the hospital. Due to this requirement, this is not yet the time to be able to enjoy a meal with your loved one who is in the hospital. Based on the particular vulnerability of some patients and residents, we are not yet able to invite visitors back to our Living Center and Cancer Care areas. And, covid patients are not able to have visitors.
Welcoming visitors back safely requires a lot of care and attention by staff. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we ease the restrictions that have been in place for many months.
I have something very important to ask today. Your participation right now is vital. Please, please get the covid vaccine when it is offered to you. The bottom line is that our community health and well-being depend on a high level of immunity in our Teton County residents and workers. We are in an Arms Race to get shots in arms. To delay the timeframe to community immunity will result in more sickness, more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths. This would be tragic. Don’t be a vaccine brand shopper. All of the currently available vaccines reduce the risk of serious illness, hospitalizations, and death to nearly zero. That is remarkable.
With your help, we have succeeded in getting more vaccine for Teton County. We are aiming to have nearly all of our eligible residents vaccinated by summer, before we see an influx of visitors. This will require a huge effort by St. John’s, Teton County Health Department, and many volunteers. Please do your part and register when you are eligible. It has been a great pleasure to be in the vaccine clinics in recent weeks and see so many of you who are getting vaccinated. We are getting there, together. Thanks again for your support.
Paul Beaupré, MD
Medical Director, Covid Response
St. John’s Health