RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — With an increase in COVID-19 cases in western South Dakota, a no-visitor policy is being put into place again at Monument Health hospitals, emergency departments and clinics.
The no-visitor policy started on March 11 at Monument Health’s long-term care centers and was expanded to all facilities on March 25. The health care system eased visitor restrictions on May 2 to allow one visitor per patient.
It will now go back to no visitors starting on Saturday, May 16 at 7 a.m.
“We know how important it is for patients and families to be together during difficult times. However, the safety of patients, physicians and caregivers has been the deciding factor for our visitation policy change,” Brad Archer, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Monument Health, said in a news release.
There are some exceptions to the policy:
- Labor-and-delivery patients may have one support person accompany them during their stay. No siblings allowed.
- Parents with children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Pediatrics Department or the Emergency Department will be allowed to be with their child, one parent at a time.
- Patients in hospice care or receiving end-of-life treatment will be allowed special exceptions to the visitor policy. Please contact facility staff.
Monument Health staff will assist patients with technology so they can connect with their loved ones. Family and friends are also encouraged to send e-cards to their hospitalized loved one by visiting the Monument Health E-Cards web page. Cards are printed in the hospital and delivered with the patient’s meal. Patients at all five Monument Health Hospitals, as well as the Orthopedic & Specialty Hospital, can receive cards.
Pennington County went from 16 COVID-19 cases on Friday, May 8 to 40 cases as of Thursday, May 14.