Agnesian HealthCare modifying visitor guidelines as COVID-19 cases increase

Visitors

As all three Agnesian HealthCare hospitals continue to see dramatic increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations and positive tests, Agnesian HealthCare is modifying its visitor guidelines to help protect the vulnerable patients it serves.

These guidelines apply to all locations, including clinics, hospitals and other locations.

Starting Friday, September 3, 2021, the following visitor guidelines will be in place:

  • Patients can designate one visitor each day during their stay.
  • No visits for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients except for limited situations.
  • Only one primary support person in Women & Infants.
  • Compassionate care exceptions may be made in end-of-life situations.
  • Visitors must be over the age of 18.

All visitors are screened prior to admission and must be in good health (no signs of a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat) and must be 18 years of age or older. They must wear masks.

“With the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Agnesian HealthCare - like other health care providers - is looking at what steps should be taken to help reduce potential exposure, especially to individuals with no symptoms, or even minor symptoms,” according to Katherine Vergos, St. Agnes Hospital president. “By significantly reducing visitors coming into our facilities, we will be able to greatly limit potential exposure keeping our patients, caregivers and providers safe.”

 While COVID-19 positive numbers continue to increase, it’s important that community members are watching for symptoms, even minor, and contacting the COVID-19 clinic at 920-926-8400. Agnesian HealthCare is only testing individuals with symptoms, and call volumes are high at this time.

“We have seen that many positive cases are due to large group gatherings where social distancing guidelines are not being practiced,” Vergos explains. “Reports also indicate that individuals are attending these gatherings with minor symptoms, often dismissing as allergy related, only to later test positive for COVID-19.”

COVID-19 symptoms can include: fever, trouble breathing, headache, head congestion, muscle pains, sore throat, loss of sense/taste, cough, chills, fatigue, runny nose, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea.

Here are some ways to stay safe. When traveling or getting together with people outside your household, for your safety and the safety of those you care about, please be...SMART.

  • S: Social distance
  • M: Mask at all times
  • A: Avoid large crowds
  • R: Remember…clean hands
  • T: Take care to cover coughs, sneezes and avoid touching your face.

Wearing face coverings can also help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“Face coverings protect others around us by reducing the spread of respiratory droplets when talking, sneezing or coughing,” Vergos says. “For universal masking to be effective, it requires everyone to be vigilant about wearing masks and encouraging others to do the same. It is important to pair face coverings with good social distancing and hand hygiene practices. Please continue to maintain a social distance of at least six feet as much as possible.”

In addition to face coverings and social distancing, wash hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Make sure to perform hand hygiene anytime touching, changing or adjusting your face covering.

Please remember that face coverings are only as effective as they are worn. Here are some tips on proper use:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction, should not be worn below the nose or mouth
  • Not be shared
  • Be laundered periodically and when they are soiled (washing machine & dried should suffice)

To learn more about COVID-19, visit agnesian.com/covid19 or the CDC at cdc.gov.

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