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Tomah Health prohibits most visitors

Tomah Health prohibits most visitors

Tomah Health is prohibiting visitors to the hospital at 501 Gopher Dr. as part of continued safeguards against COVID-19.

Hospital marketing and public relations director Eric Prise said as a protective measure for the health of patients, staff and community members, no visitors to those under inpatient hospital care will be allowed beginning at noon Monday, March 23.

Prise said exceptions will be allowed for births, end-of-life care or other specific circumstances.

“Expecting moms will be allowed one support person for births in our Women’s Health Services Department, plus there will be exceptions for those patients who are imminently dying,” Prise said.

He said all visitors granted visitation will be screened before entering, and those who are determined to have respiratory illness will be prohibited from entering. In addition, no person under 18 will be allowed to visit.

Last week Tomah Health prohibited visitors to the hospital’s Hospice and Palliative Care facility at 601 Straw St. in Tomah, although visitors for imminent death patients are considered on a case-by-case basis.

“While these restrictions will be difficult for patients and loved ones, we are taking these necessary steps to protect our patients and our staff,” Prise said.

Prise said Tomah Health’s Warrens Clinic will continue restricted hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at 101 Unity Drive, Warrens. The clinic is closed Saturdays and Sundays.

He said the hospital’s Occupational Health & Wellness Clinic at 1401 Townline Rd., Tomah, remains open from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Due to the critical need for blood, Prise said the hospital’s scheduled Versiti BloodCenter of Wisconsin drive will be held Thursday, March 26, from noon-5 p.m. Prise said blood donor visitors will be required to enter Tomah Health using the hospital’s Rehab Services entrance on the east side of the building and will be pre-screened before entering the building.

“Donors will be safely distanced from each other, while all our internal safeguards remain in place including rigorous cleaning.”

Versiti Chief Medical Officer Tom Abshire, M.D. has said the donation process itself poses no risk of infecting a donor with coronavirus, and that donors and blood drive sponsors should be reassured that attending organized blood drives is safe.

Prise said the new restrictions will remain in place until further notice.

He said mildly ill patients should stay home and contact their health care provider by phone for guidance about care. Patients who have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, should seek care immediately.

Prise said updated COVID-19 news at Tomah Health is online at tomahhealth.org and the hospital’s Facebook page.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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