RAPID CITY, S.D. – The major health care systems in South Dakota are gearing up for the possible spread of Covid-19 infections. The first cases were reported in the state yesterday (Tuesday).
At Monument Health in Rapid City, they report physicians and caregivers have been planning and preparing for weeks to confront the virus.
The health group with locations across Western South Dakota says they have clinical and executive teams that are meeting twice a day to work on their COVID-19 response.
They urge anyone who feels ill and are worried about the virus to call ahead first before going to urgent care or clinic.
Monument is limiting the number of visitors at its hospitals due to the virus. In a release, the health network stated:
To protect the health of patients, families and caregivers while concern about COVID-19 continues, Monument Health will limit the number of visitors to patients at Monument Health with potentially infectious conditions. This will help conserve vital personal protection equipment such as masks, gloves and eye protection, which is in short supply worldwide.
“We do understand that visits from family and friends are important to the health and recovery of our patients,” said Brad Archer, M.D., Monument Health Chief Medical Officer. “However, these are extraordinary circumstances. We believe family and friends of patients in isolation rooms will understand that this is necessary, and we appreciate their patience.”
At this time, patients whose visitors must wear gowns, face masks or other protective gear, are asked to designate one support person who can visit them. Not only will this help patients in their recovery, it will also preserve personal protective equipment for caregivers and physicians who care for our patients.
Monument Health will work with families of pediatric patients and those patients with special needs. Other visitors could communicate via video conferencing apps like Facetime or Hangouts rather than in-person visits.