Avera beginning to allow limited visitors

SIOUX FALLS, S.D./ABERDEEN, S.D. (Press Release) – Avera is now allowing one visitor per patient per day in hospitals, surgery centers, emergency departments and clinics during regular visitor hours.

Patients and visitors must wear masks within an Avera facility, and will be screened for temperature and symptoms of COVID-19 before entering the building. Patients and visitors are urged to wear a cloth face mask when arriving to an Avera location. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided.

Patients and visitors alike are still asked to observe social distancing of at least 6 feet between people whenever possible, for example, at registration areas and in waiting rooms. It may be necessary for care providers to be closer than 6 feet in order to conduct examinations.

Some Avera facilities may have different rules or implement changes at different times so please check with your local facility. Other visitor restrictions are in place for patients diagnosed with COVID-19; please check with your facility.

“We thank our patients and their families for their cooperation and patience during the time when we needed to restrict all visitors. We know this was difficult for everyone, but it was necessary in order to protect patients and staff while preserving valuable protective equipment,” said Kevin Post, DO, Chief Medical Officer for Avera Medical Group.

Adequate supply of protective equipment, including masks, is now available so that Avera can begin allowing more visitors. Visitors are still being restricted at long-term care centers to protect this very vulnerable population.

“The health and safety of our patients and our employees continues to be our highest priority. We know visitation is very important in the healing and recovery process. Because COVID-19 is still present in our population, we are taking additional measures toward ensuring the safety of our facilities,” Post said.

Customers, patients and visitors will see these extra measures of safety:

  • Industrial-grade cleaning practices in all Avera facilities.
  • Spacing stickers on the floors at registration areas.
  • Distance between waiting room chairs.
  • Streamlined processes at registration to result in shorter visits to a facility.
  • Face masks worn by staff and other protective equipment as needed.
  • Hand sanitizer available in waiting rooms.

Long-term care centers will remain closed to visitors at this time.

To learn more about what services are now available at your nearest Avera location, call your local clinic or hospital. General information about Avera services is available at Avera.org.

Avera St. Luke’s will implement this visitors policy beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, May 22. Visiting hours will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Visitors should use Door 4 on the west side of the hospital where they will be checked in and screened.