Sanford Health restricting visitors at all properties

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sanford Health will stop most visitors from entering health clinics or medical centers beginning Friday, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The policy announced by one of the state’s leading healthcare providers will restrict visitors to immediate family members, and only one visitor per patient.

When visitors enter a Sanford Health property, they will be screened to check for respiratory illness symptoms and asked about recent travel.

These guidelines come from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as public health officials work to slow the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.

“The patients who enter our doors become family, and we will continue to look out for each other during this time,” Dr. Allison Suttle, chief medical officer for Sanford Health, said in a statement. “It is important that we all do our part to prevent this illness from spreading in our communities by practicing good hygiene and staying home if we are sick. Let’s continue to take care of each other.”

The Good Samaritan Society, also owned by Sanford Health, issued some new guidelines. During that period, only those who need to enter long-term care facilities such as employees and essential personnel will be allowed to do so. Sanford is working with families who have critical needs on a case-by-case basis.

Sanford reminds people if you have symptoms that match COVID-19, to call your regular clinic before going in into the office.

As of Wednesday, South Dakota had eight cases, including one death.

Avera Health is recommending patients not to visit family in a health care facility while sick. In the Black Hills, Monument Health announced that visitors will not be allowed at its Custer Care Center and Assisted Living in Custer and its Sturgis Care Center.