No-visitor policy returns to Monument Health hospitals
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Because of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in western South Dakota, Monument Health announced it is returning to its no-visitor policy at all hospitals, emergency departments and clinics. The policy goes into effect Saturday, May 16, at 7 a.m.
“We know how important it is for patients and families to be together during difficult times. However, the safety of patients, physicians and caregivers has been the deciding factor for our visitation policy change,” said Brad Archer, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Monument Health.
Monument Health first established a no-visitor policy for its long-term care centers on March 11. The policy expanded to all facilities March 25. On May 2, Monument Health eased the visitor restriction to allow one visitor per patient. Throughout this time, officials have said that the policy will be updated as conditions change.
The number of West River COVID-19 cases has been rising in the past week. Pennington County, for example, went from 16 cases on May 8 to 40 cases as of Thursday.
The following exceptions apply:
- Labor-and-delivery patients may have one support person accompany them during their stay. No siblings allowed.
- Parents with children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Pediatrics Department or the Emergency Department will be allowed to be with their child, one parent at a time.
- Patients in hospice care or receiving end-of-life treatment will be allowed special exceptions to the visitor policy. Please contact facility staff.
Patients are encouraged to use technology to stay in touch with their loved ones. Monument Health will assist patients with technology.
In addition, family and friends can send e-cards to their hospitalized loved one by visiting the Monument Health E-Cards webpage. Your card will be printed in the hospital and delivered with the patient’s meal. Patients at all five Monument Health Hospitals, as well as the Orthopedic & Specialty Hospital, can receive cards.