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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Avera is working closely with state and local health officials to protect staff and patients from the coronavirus strain known as COVID-19. We’re working hard to keep you updated on this rapidly changing event.

  • One visitor per patient per day during regular visiting hours is allowed in Avera hospitals, surgery centers, emergency departments and clinics. Some exceptions will be made for extenuating circumstances. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Continuing care is just as important now as in times before the COVID-19 pandemic. If you need to see a doctor for any reason, don’t hesitate to utilize virtual visits.
  • We’re resuming services that were on hold due to COVID-19. Learn more about updates to patient visits.
  • At this time, Avera does not recommend visitors at our long-term care centers because they are at high-risk of COVID-19. Consult with your local facility if you have a loved one in hospice or end-of-life care.
  • Avera public events, support groups and conferences are temporarily suspended in order to decrease the risk of exposure. If you’re unsure of your event’s status, please call the facility before you go.
  • If you own a business, you’ve been impacted in whole or in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. This toolkit is designed to equip you with the resources needed to stay safe and healthy.
  • We remain dedicated to the communities we serve and focused on you and your health during the COVID-19 pandemic. This rapidly evolving situation does mean we're making changes to the way we provide care. Learn more about how you can stay healthy and positive during this time.

What do I do if I get sick?

The symptoms of COVID-19 can vary from mild to severe respiratory illness. Follow the CDC guidelines if you are sick. Keep in mind, about 80% of patients who have COVID-19 can be treated at home. The rate of patients who experience serious complications is only slightly higher than that of seasonal flu.

Regarding returning to work, the CDC recommends businesses not require provider notes for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work. This is because clinics and medical facilities may be extremely busy and unable to provide such documentation.

According to this recommendation, Avera will not provide sick notes from providers.

What if I need to get tested?

If you are having symptoms of COVID-19 call 1-877-At-Avera (1-877-282-8372), or call your clinic. Avera has set-up processes for testing that will limit exposure. We follow CDC guidelines for COVID-19 testing. Individuals without symptoms, or symptomatic individuals who are not part of a high priority group will not be tested.

We know you have many questions about COVID-19 testing. Below are some helpful resources to answer some of those questions:

Antibody Testing

  • At this time, we are not supporting antibody testing as a COVID-19 diagnosis method. We are only using antibody testing as a screening tool for patients who may be eligible to participate in a clinical study.

Testing Costs

  • The price of a COVID-19 test at all Avera hospital and clinic laboratories is $140 (inclusive of supplies, lab equipment and staff time to run the test). COVID-19 tests and antibody tests are usually covered by insurance.
  • You can call the number on the back of your insurance card to confirm. If you do not have insurance and are concerned about paying for the test, you can ask us about programs that help with the cost.
  • For self-pay, there will not be a bill right away. We will seek reimbursement from any applicable government programs which may provide coverage for the test. You may receive a bill should government funding not cover the cost of the testing.

How do I protect myself and loved ones from COVID-19?

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • If you are sick, limit close contact with others as much as possible.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

When and How to Wash Your Hands

Is COVID-19 testing covered by insurance?

Testing for COVID-19 must be ordered by your provider.

The office visit and testing to establish the diagnosis of COVID-19 will be covered at 100 percent. All other medical treatment associated would be a covered benefit and follow an individual’s health insurance coverage. Please check your Summary of Benefits and Coverage for your plan details.

A Prayer for Those Affected

Lord, we pray for patients and families impacted by COVID-19, we pray for health care workers and we pray for our communities. Father, we come before You to lay all of our fears and anxieties at Your feet. And when fear and worry fills our head, we ask You to fill our hearts with peace. Bring us clarity Jesus, so we may walk in the light of God. In Your name we pray, Amen.

Call Ahead with COVID-19 Symptoms or Exposure

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 call your clinic before you visit or toll-free at 1-877-282-8372 (answered 24/7).

Symptoms & exposure

  • Fever over 100 degrees
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Vomiting or diarrhea 
  • Sore throat

Use CDC Coronavirus Self-Checker

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

© 2020 Avera, Sioux Falls, SD. All Rights Reserved.