Ascension Via Christi hospitals restricting visitors to reduce spread of respiratory illnesses

By The Active Age | January 4, 2024

Ascension Via Christi’s hospitals in Wichita are asking family members and friends not to make in-person visits to patients if they have had COVID-19 recently or are experiencing respiratory illnesses.
According to a news release, the step will help protect patients and staff from “respiratory illnesses that are prevalent in our community.”
Hospital officials said last month that respiratory illnesses were on the rise and would likely worsen after the holidays.
Patients’ families and friends are asked not to make in-person visits to the hospital if they have had COVID-19 in the past 10 days or are experiencing cold- or flu-like symptoms such as cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, nasal congestion or sore throat.
Additionally, until further notice, visitors must be at least age 12 or older except at the NewLife Center at Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph, where the minimum age to visit is now 18.
“If there are extenuating circumstances, patients and families should talk to their nurse, who will discuss the concern with the healthcare team to determine appropriate visitation that is safe for everyone concerned,” said Dr. Sheryl Beard, chief medical officer for the Wichita hospitals.
Visitors are also reminded to wash their hands and/or use an alcohol-based hand rub when entering and exiting a patient’s room, a practice already in place with staff.
“While family plays a key role in the healing process and the importance of the presence of loved ones during family milestones, patient and staff safety continues to be our top priority,” Beard said. “As a reminder, families also have the option of seeing and communicating with patients virtually, which also helps prevent the transmission of any potential illnesses.”