Brookings Health allowing limited visitors; The Neighborhoods at Brookview still closed to guests

Starting this week, Brookings Health is allowing one visitor or support person per patient per day at Brookings Hospital, Yorkshire Eye Clinic and the primary care clinics in Arlington, Volga and White.

This allows patients a visitor in all aspects of hospital care.

Health System CEO and President Jason Merkley says restrictions were necessary in order to protect the health and safety of patients and team members. He says thanks to the low COVID-19 transmission rate in the community, they can now lift some of the temporary restrictions.

Anyone entering Brookings Health System facilities will continue to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. They will be asked to follow all infection control guidelines, including proper hand hygiene, and asked to don a cloth mask. Patients, visitors and support persons may bring their own mask or may opt to wear one supplied by the health system. Individuals will also be encouraged to maintain six-foot social distances and not to unnecessarily linger in public spaces.

Following the South Dakota Department of Health guidelines, visitor restrictions will remain in place for The Neighborhoods at Brookview skilled nursing home. Merkley says the long-term care population remains vulnerable to COVID-19. He says they encourage family and friends to still keep in touch with their loved ones by other means: email, phone, FaceTime, or even a good, old-fashioned letter.