Monument Health allows one visitor per hospitalized patient


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — At Monument Health Hospital in Rapid City, patients are now allowed one visitor. However, those guests must follow several health precautions before even entering the hospital.

The decision to allow a patient one visitor became effective on Saturday, May 2. Nicole Kerkenbush, the Chief Nursing and Performance Officer says they’ve already seen a number of loved ones visiting patients.

“Over the weekend we did have quite a few visitors come in and saw positive feedback from the fact that they are able to come in and spend time with their loved ones,” Kerkenbush said.

Kerkenbush says several things went into making the decision to allow one visitor per patient, including that the number of COVID-19 cases is still pretty low on the western side of South Dakota.

“That coupled with the fact that we do know our in-patients that are in the hospitals are going through a very stressful time as are their family members and it’s important for patients to be able to have a support person with them,” Kerkenbush said.

However, visitors must follow safety precautions before entering the hospital doors. That includes being screened for COVID-19 symptoms and wearing a mask.

“And then while they’re in the hospital, reporting directly to the patient’s room not going to any other locations in the hospital and then when exiting, just going right from the room to the exit point,” Jill Tice, the VP of Quality Safety Risk Management said.

Tice says patients who tested positive for COVID-19 will not be allowed visitors.

“Patients that are on precautions for any other type of isolation whether it be COVID-19 or another type of infection that we would need to use PPE in order to care for those patients will not be allowed to have a visitor for this time,” Tice said.

You can stay updated on changes of the policy on the Monument Health website.

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