CHI Health makes additional changes to visitor restrictions

Published: Mar. 27, 2020 at 1:15 PM CDT
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CHI Health is reducing its current two visitor policy to only one visitor per patient beginning Friday, March 27. All visitors must be 19 years or older in Nebraska. The only exception to this new restriction will be for visitors of pediatric patients and patients in neonatal intensive care unit areas. Those patients are allowed two parents or legal guardians.

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 visitor with symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, flu-like symptoms), has 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 in.

“We are now seeing confirmed cases in our communities and have prepared our hospitals to receive cases. This is just the next responsible step,” said Derek Vance, president of CHI Health St. Elizabeth and CHI Health Nebraska Heart. “It’s really in everyone’s best interest, if your visit to the hospital is not absolutely necessary, that you choose to stay home. Facetime and other apps can help you stay in touch with your loved ones, billing questions can be handled over the phone and some doctor’s visits can be conducted through Virtual Care.”

Non-urgent procedures, surgeries and cardiac rehabilitation have been postponed at most CHI Health facilities. This allows hospitals to not only protect their 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,” Vance said. “It takes everyone to prevent the spread. Social distancing, washing our hands, staying home – that’s ­­how we are going to beat this.”