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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Norton County Hospital Announces Changes To Patient and Visitor Policies

Masking will be required as a proactive measure against illness

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

NORTON, Kan. – Norton County Hospital and Norton Medical Clinic have been screening patients, visitors and staff for several weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as limiting the number of visitors allowed into the facilities. Starting Monday, June 22, all entrances will be reopened as normal, and unlimited visitors will be allowed. Additionally, visiting hours will return to normal – 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. However, masking will be required of all patients and visitors upon entry into the hospital and clinic facilities.

Many recent reputable studies have shown that masking reduces human-to-human transmission of COVID-19, among other contagious respiratory diseases. Gina Frack, Norton County Hospital CEO, said this research led to the decision to allow hospital and clinic facilities to reopen with the masking requirement.

“Our staff will continue to be screened at each shift. Also, you will continue to see our clinical staff – those providing direct patient care – wearing masks. Some of our office staff may not be masking due to the screening measures that remain in place for them, but per policy we ask all staff to mask when appropriate social distancing of 6 feet between people is not possible,” Frack explained.

“We have listened to our patients and visitors and know that limiting our visitors to one person at a time can put a strain on families. So, we are reopening as normal but making masking of all patients and visitors a requirement to continue our protection efforts against the spread of illness. This is about protection of self and others,” she added.

Norton County Hospital asks patients and visitors to pay attention to signs upon entry. Please wear a mask from home; if you are not wearing a mask, one will be provided to you. A hand sanitation station will also be available at all points of entry to be used each time someone comes into the facilities.

Here are some other points to note about this new policy:

  • Mask wearing of all patients and visitors is required, but there is an understanding that masks would need to be removed for certain medical procedures and activities. Staff will work with patients and visitors individually, and will notify them when masks may be removed.
  • All patient registration areas have been equipped with plexiglass screens to protect those staff and patient interactions.
  • Visitors visibly showing symptoms of illness (such as cough, fever and shortness of breath) will still not be allowed in the facilities.
  • Please avoid congregating and crowding; practice social distancing.
  • Please continue to wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer.
  • This is a new “normal” for the hospital and clinic, so please practice patience and work with staff to ensure the protection of lives.
  • These details are subject to change at any time, particularly if the positive case counts of COVID-19 in the county or surrounding area increase. Norton County Hospital will continue to notify the public of policy changes.

    As a reminder, if going to Norton County Hospital facilities with respiratory symptoms, please call in advance. The hospital number is 785-877-3351 and clinic number is 785-877-3305. It’s important to continue to wash hands frequently, social distance and wear a mask in public. COVID-19 is still an ongoing pandemic.

    Keep up-to-date on COVID-19 information from local, state and national sources at www.ntcohosp.com.

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