Social Distancing is Recommended
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Published on March 13, 2020

Social Distancing is Recommended

To prevent spread of COVID-19 illness, Avera recommends “social distancing” as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Avera has temporarily suspended public events, support groups and conferences in order to decrease the risk of exposure. If you’re unsure of your event’s status, please call the facility before you go.

At this time, Avera is not recommending visitors at our long-term care centers as those individuals in long-term care are at high-risk of COVID-19. Consult with your local facility for patients who are in hospice or end-of-life care.

Starting within the next week, Avera hospitals will allow only one visitor at a time per patient, and that visitor cannot have been exposed to COVID-19, have influenza, or flu-like symptoms.

Here’s what social distancing means:

Limit close contact with people

  • Limit physical contact, including handshakes
  • Avoid hugging or kissing people who are sick or showing symptoms of illness, keep your distance about six feet away
  • Limit in-person meetings, using phone, email and other communication tools when possible.
  • Increase physical space when you are working or talking with others out in public

Stay home if you are sick

Stay home from work, school, church or other group gatherings if you are ill with these symptoms:

  • Fever of 100° or higher
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat

Identify actions to take if you need to postpone or cancel events

  • Officials may ask you to modify, postpone or cancel large events for the safety and well-being of your event staff, participants and the community.
  • If possible, plan alternative ways for participants to enjoy the events by television, radio or online.

Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces

  • Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are sick people in the crowd.

Reduce or limit large gatherings

  • Consider that now may not be the best time for parties or potlucks.

Limit non-essential travel

People who utilize Avera facilities for their health care who feel they may have been exposed to COVID-19 (coronavirus) or who are displaying symptoms are asked to call 1-877-AT-AVERA (1-877-282-8372), or contact their clinic by phone.

The toll-free number is Avera’s Medical Call Center that is staffed 24/7. At this number, people will talk to qualified staff who will discuss their concerns and symptoms and determine if that patient needs to be seen by a provider.

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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.

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