Severe Respiratory Illness Prompts Regional Health to Implement Hospital Visitation Guidelines to Protect Patients & Public
RAPID CITY, SD – (9/12/14) Due to an increase of severe respiratory illness in the Black Hills, particularly in young children 18 years and younger, Regional Health is implementing visitation guidelines to protect the safety and health of its patients and the public. Visitation guidelines are now in effect at all Regional Hospitals located in Custer, Lead-Deadwood, Rapid City (including the Regional Rehabilitation Institute), Spearfish and Sturgis.
The South Dakota Department of Health issued a news release stating it has “received specimens from several suspect cases of the enterovirus EV-D68 and has submitted them to the CDC for testing.” Although EV-D68 has been diagnosed in nearby states, it has not been confirmed in South Dakota at this time.
Regional Health visitation guidelines include:
- If a visitor has symptoms including coughing, sneezing, runny nose or a fever do not visit hospitalized patients.
- No children under the age of 18 years will be allowed to visit patients during this time.
- If visiting a Regional Health clinic, visitors will be asked to wear a mask if symptomatic.
- All patients with a cough will be required to wear a mask.
In Spearfish, these additional precautions are being taken:
- Only immediate family or designated support person, 18 years and older, will be allowed in Maternal Child, Labor and Delivery.
In Rapid City, only immediate family or designated support person, 18 years and older, will be allowed in the following departments:
- Intensive Care Units (ICU)
- Maternal Child, Labor and Delivery
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
- Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
“We feel these visitor guidelines are the most effective way to protect our patients, as well as the general public,” said Robert Houser, M.D., Rapid City Regional Hospital Vice President of Medical Affairs. “We appreciate the public’s help in preventing patient exposure to respiratory viruses during this time.”