Ascension Via Christi’s Wichita hospitals have eased visitor restrictions in response to current community conditions due to COVID-19 and need to incorporate family at the patient bedside as much as is safely possible.

All three of its Wichita acute-care hospitals, Ascension Via Christi St. Francis, St. Joseph and St. Teresa, and the Ascension Via Christi Rehabilitation Hospital, have begun allowing patients, except for those undergoing treatment for COVID-19, to have one visitor per day between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Further exceptions may be made where there are end-of-life or other extenuating circumstances, such as patients unable to advocate for themselves.

“We recognize the important role family plays in the healing process and are allowing, or restricting, visitation as dictated by what we are seeing in terms of the spread of infection,” said Kevin Strecker, Ascension Via Christi’s chief operating officer. “Our first priority is the safety of our patients and staff.”

Ascension Medical Group Via Christi’s clinics are continuing to restrict visitors, except in circumstances where patients require assistance. All visitors must meet the screening criteria being employed at the entry points, which for visitors are limited to the main lobby. Everyone else is encouraged to lend their support through the use of virtual platforms.

“We ask that everyone do their part in helping keep the hospitals open to at least some visitation by wearing their masks, maintaining six feet of physical distance when around anyone who is not a member of their household and in practicing good hand hygiene,” Strecker said.

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