Sanford Health lifts some visitor restrictions
SIOUX FALLS, S.D., May 20, 2020 — While ensuring patients are cared for in a safe and healthy environment is the highest priority, Sanford Health also recognizes that being alone for hospital stays and some clinic appointments can be difficult. Sanford Health is implementing a new visitor policy in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that is intended to minimize the spread of COVID-19 while also reducing feelings of isolation.
“We’ve taken a strong stand against COVID-19 to keep our patients and employees safe during this pandemic,” said Allison Suttle, M.D., chief medical officer of Sanford Health. “Because we’ve done that, including masking employees in hospitals and clinics, we can now have each patient have a friend or family member by their side in their times of need.”
As a reminder, anyone who is not feeling well should not accompany another patient to an appointment or visit anyone in a hospital. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please call your regular health care provider — do not come in person to the clinic in order to protect staff and other patients. Those symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Medical centers, hospitals and clinics
New visitor policy, effective May 20:
- One visitor per patient during visiting hours (8 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily) for all areas except designated COVID-19 units.
- All visitors will be screened according to current guidelines.
- All visitors must wear a face mask (cloth or surgical) at all times.
- If a visitor exception is made for a COVID-19 patient, that visitor will:
- Wear a mask at all times.
- Eat sack meals — using no trays, cutlery or dishes in patient rooms. These visitors should not enter the cafeteria.
- Self-quarantine for 14 days after visiting.
- For end-of-life care, visitors will be allowed at the discretion of the facility and then must follow all visitor guidelines.
- Patients are allowed to bring one visitor with them for clinic or outpatient appointments.
- Visitors must wear a face mask (cloth or surgical) at all times. If a visitor does not have a face mask, one will be provided.
Long-term care facilities
What this means in our skilled nursing and assisted living facilities:
- All locations are temporarily closed to all visitors until further notice to protect the health of our employees and residents who face the highest risk of illness.
- Friends and family are encouraged to communicate with loved ones remotely through phone calls, Facebook or video conferencing.
About Sanford Health
Sanford Health, one of the largest health systems in the United States, is dedicated to the integrated delivery of health care, genomic medicine, senior care and services, global clinics, research and affordable insurance. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization includes 44 hospitals, 1,400 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and nine countries. Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford have transformed how Sanford Health improves the human condition.