KDADS Announces Restrictions for Visitors to State Hospitals in Response to COVID-19
Many State Hospital Activities Also Suspended or Restricted
Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) Secretary Laura Howard today announced that visitation at all four state hospitals has been restricted effective immediately as a measure of precaution to reduce exposure of COVID-19 to residents and staff.
“Restrictions on visitors at state hospitals are a difficult but necessary step in our mission to encourage social distancing and limit exposure to the virus not only for our residents, who are some of the most vulnerable Kansans we serve, but our staff as well,” Secretary Howard said. “To date, there have been no cases of COVID-19 in any of our state hospital facilities and we are making vigilant efforts to continue to provide a safe, healthy environment.”
Consistent with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ guidance recently released for nursing facilities, new restrictions on visitors and non-essential individuals entering the Kansas Neurological Institute, Parsons State Hospital and Training Center, Osawatomie State Hospital and Larned State Hospital are in place:
- Restricts all visitors, effective immediately, with exceptions for compassionate care, such as end-of-life situations;
- No one showing signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat is allowed on campus.
- No one having been in contact with a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 is allowed on campus.
- No one having traveled to countries with sustained community transmission within the last 14 days is allowed on campus. Currently those countries include Italy, Iran, China and South Korea. An updated listing of these countries can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html.
- Restricts all volunteers and nonessential health care personnel and other personnel (i.e. barbers);
- Restricts internal and public group activities or appointments;
- Implements active screening of residents and health care personnel for fever and respiratory symptoms;
- Suspends the Foster Grandparent Program (unique to KNI) and volunteer programs;
- Redirects vendors and deliveries to alternate sites on campuses; and
- Closes facilities on state hospital campuses to the public.
Parents and guardians of residents at state hospitals are being asked not to come to campuses and instead check with hospital administration about alternative ways to communicate with their loved ones. Each hospital will work to accommodate visitors via telephone or video if possible.
In end-of-life cases, visitors will be equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, and the visit will be limited to a specific room only.
“The populations we serve in our state hospitals are in many cases more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others. That, coupled with the rapid spread of COVID-19 in people who are in close proximity to each other on an ongoing basis, make it necessary to restrict, or in some cases suspend, normal day-today activities,” Deputy Secretary of Hospitals and Facilities Scott Brunner said.
For more information on COVID-19 visit the Kansas Department for Health and Environment’s Resource Center at: www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus.
You also can call 1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF).