NEBRASKA – In an ongoing effort to protect patients, staff and the community, Friday, March 27, CHI Health is reducing its current two visitor policy, to only one visitor per patient. Pediatric and neonatal intensive care units (NICU) patients, only, are allowed two parents or legal guardian visitors. All visitors must be 19 years or older.
CHI Health recently limited access to its hospital and clinics in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 screenings will continue to take place at all entrances. Any hospital visitor with symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, flu-like symptoms), or have come into contact with a person with known COVID-19 within the past 14 days, or has traveled in areas where there is known community spread of COVID-19, will not be allowed entrance.
“We are now seeing confirmed cases in our communities and have prepared our hospitals to receive cases. This is just the next responsible step. It’s really in everyone’s best interest, if your visit to the hospital is not absolutely necessary, you choose to stay home,” says Mike Schnieders, president, CHI Health Good Samaritan in Kearney, Nebr.
“Facetime and other apps can help you stay in touch with your loved ones, billing questions can be handled over the phone; and through VirtualCare, some doctor’s visits can be conducted via video chat,” says Ed Hannon, president, CHI Health St. Francis in Grand Island, Nebr.
Non-urgent procedures, surgeries and cardiac rehabilitation have been postponed at most CHI Health facilities. Allowing hospitals to not only protect its workforce and patients, but conserve vital medical supplies, staff and beds for potential COVID-19 patients.
“Flattening the curve—not overwhelming the nation’s health care system all at once—is critical. By slowing the spread of COVID-19, we keep our patient loads manageable and allow time for testing and research for treatments,” says Hannon.
“But it takes everyone to prevent the spread. Social distancing, washing our hands, staying home—that’s how we are going to beat this,” says Schnieders.