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Avera closes hospitals to visitors

By Staff | Mar 31, 2020

Avera is closing its hospitals to visitors to protect patients and staff from the spread of COVID-19.

“We understand that these restrictions will be difficult for patients, family members, friends and loved ones. Top priority is the protection of everyone, especially those who are most vulnerable. Similar to other hospitals across the nation, we are taking these necessary steps to protect our patients and staff. We ask for the cooperation and understanding of the public we as a health system must act responsibly and do everything we can to minimize the spread of this virus,” said David Erickson, MD, Chief Medical and Innovation Officer for Avera Health.

The no visitors policy will be implemented at Avera Holy Family Hospital effective Wednesday, March 25.

“We at Avera Holy Family Hospital are committed to our patients, the healthcare team who cares for them, and our community. Keeping everyone safe is our top priority,” said Deb Herzberg, Avera Holy Family Hospital CEO.

For end-of-life, births, NICU and pediatric cases, Avera will allow limited visitors. Avera is setting up virtual visitation at several of its hospitals. Family members are encouraged to connect with patients using phones, text, social media or video chat.

“We know how important family is and the importance family connection plays in healing. We are developing a process for virtual visits to help family members stay connected with their loved ones while hospitalized,” Herzberg added.

Clinic patients are still allowed to have one critical visitor at their appointments, however this visitor may not be positive for COVID-19 and may not be displaying symptoms of respiratory illness.

To learn more go to Avera.org/COVID-19.