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.
NO visitors will be allowed in our facilities.
Some exceptions will be made for extenuating circumstances. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for:
- Children admitted to the hospital
- Maternity units
- Patients receiving end-of-life care
For approved exceptions, only one visitor per patient will be allowed. They must be:
- 18 or older
- Either immediate family members, powers of attorney, guardians or patient representatives
- Healthy with no symptoms of illness including respiratory or fever
- 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.
- Some walk-in clinics are also temporarily closed. See list
- 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.
What is COVID-19?
It is a respiratory illness that first surfaced in late 2019. It can spread from person to person. Risk of infection is higher in people who are in close proximity to people with COVID-19 such as health care workers or household members.
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.
Based on the severity of your symptoms, your provider may ask you to stay home and isolate yourself.
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.
How to properly 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.