By Shereen Siewert
In-person visitation has been temporarily halted at Ascension Wisconsin hospitals to help minimize the impact of COVID-19, according to a news release issued Friday.
The new rules went into effect Saturday morning.
Family members and friends of patients are encouraged to stay connected with their loved ones by virtual visitation. There are some exceptions on a case-by-case basis, including labor and delivery, pediatrics, neonatal intensive care and end-of-life care, the release stated.
“Our goal is to protect our associates and those we are privileged to serve by limiting possible exposure to COVID-19 and directing people to the right level of care,” said Tom Weaver, Ascension Wisconsin public relations manager. “We understand that during this time it is important to stay connected to loved ones and remain aware of their status while hospitalized. We encourage any potential visitors to use alternate methods of communication to stay in contact with loved ones, such as calling, video chatting, or texting.”
The following apps can be used to help people connect virtually with their loved ones: Facebook Messenger, Facetime, Google hangouts, Google Duo, WhatsApp, Skype, Viber or Signal. These can be downloaded in either the App Store (iPhone) or the Play Store (Android). Both patient and visitor will need to download the same application. Access to guest wi-fi at Ascension Wisconsin facilities is available by connecting to AH-Guest.
The updated restricted visitation policy at Ascension Wisconsin also includes the following:
All visitors, associates, clinicians and vendors entering Ascension Wisconsin facilities will be screened for flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, runny nose/nasal congestion and or sore throat.
No visitors who screen positive for cough, fever or difficulty breathing will be permitted into the facility.
To implement this, Ascension Wisconsin facilities will be implementing minimized entrance points as needed.
Visitors under the age of 18 will not be permitted.
“We appreciate the community’s support in adhering to these guidelines, as we continue to care for people who are most in need during these unprecedented times,” Weaver said.
Ascension Wisconsin Toll-Free Information Line: Ascension Wisconsin has established a dedicated telephone resource for COVID-19 questions. This can be accessed 24/7 by calling 1-833-981-0711. The launch of this service is intended to provide useful information to those in the community who have questions about COVID-19 and symptoms and is an effort to reduce the number of incoming calls to our hospitals and clinics. We ask that this resource be utilized only with questions about COVID-19 and its symptoms.
Ascension COVID-19 Online Information: Direct access to online information on COVID-19 can be found here: https://healthcare.ascension.