Great River Medical Center Makes Visitation and Other Changes Because of COVID-19

To protect patients, staff and the community from potential coronavirus infection, Great River Medical Center will limit visitors beginning at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 18. As of 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 – coronavirus – at the hospital.

“Our priorities are to protect our patients and employees, and provide accurate information to our community,” said Matt Wenzel, president and CEO. “Therefore, we have developed a process for staff to do the screening. We want to ensure we are deliberate and accurate in doing the best work possible during this pandemic.”

People under 18 will not be allowed to visit unless they are parents of a child who is a patient. Most inpatient units are limited to the same two visitors for the entire time they are hospitalized. These two people, who are designated by patients, may visit multiple times if they pass a brief health screening each time.

Some units have more specific restrictions:

  • Emergency Department – One adult may visit for the length of the visit.
  • Intensive Care – One adult may visit for the length of the hospital stay if he or she passes the health screening before each visit. Visiting hours are limited to 9 to 10 a.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. daily.
  • Obstetrics Unit – Only the mother’s support person may visit if he or she passes the health screening each time.
  • Pediatrics Unit – Only the parents or legal guardians – limit of two for the entire time of hospitalization – may visit. They must pass the health screening before each visit

Screening process

All potential visitors and outpatients will be screened before entering the hospital through these locations:

  • Main entrance – 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
  • Emergency Department entrance – 24 hours a day
  • Eastman Plaza – 6:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Cancer Care Plaza – 6:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

All other entrances will be closed.

Visitors and people coming to the hospital for outpatient procedures will be asked about the presence of respiratory symptoms and recent travel, and their temperatures will be taken. If potential visitors are positive in any area, they will not be allowed to visit.

Clinics that are not attached to Great River Medical Center also will implement a screening process.

If patients come to the hospital or a clinic for a test and don’t pass the screening, they will be given a mask and allowed to go to their destination.

Preventive care appointments

All preventive care appointments – checkups – at Great River Health clinics are cancelled through at least Thursday, April 30. Clinics will call patients to notify them about cancellations and check medication needs. Appointments will not be rescheduled until after the nationwide outbreak is contained.

Elective surgical procedures

Great River Medical Center has cancelled all elective surgical procedures through at least Thursday, April 30. Surgeons will determine which cases are elective. Great River Medical Center will notify patients and contact them about rescheduling after the nationwide outbreak is contained.

“Practicing social distancing includes avoiding unnecessary visits to environments in which people are sick,” said Russ Rodriguez, vice president, Physicians and Clinics. “We recognize that changing scheduled appointments and elective procedures is challenging, but we are doing what’s in the best interest of our community and our country. It’s frustrating for patients and health professionals.”

Where to get more information

· For more information, visit greatriverhealth.org

· For COVID-19 questions, call the Iowa Department of Public Health by dialing 211.