Brookings Hospital closes inpatient care unit to visitors

Courtesy photo

BROOKINGS – Effective today, Brookings Hospital will close its inpatient care unit to visitors in order to protect both patients and team members from COVID-19.

“With the substantial spread of COVID-19 in our community, we must take this measure in order to ensure patient safety, and just as importantly, safeguard our care team from inadvertently contracting COVID-19 from an asymptomatic visitor,” Chief Nursing Officer Tammy Hillestad said.

Exceptions will be made to allow one support person per 24-hour period for pediatric patients under the age of 18; patients with confusion, altered mental status or developmental delays; and end-of-life patients. 

“We do not make this decision lightly,” Hillestad added. “We feel great compassion and empathy for families and friends as we care for loved ones in our inpatient care unit. As care providers, we know the value of maintaining personal connections during the healing process. While we must physical distance our inpatients from others, we will still make Zoom calls an available option to connect loved ones.”

One visitor/support person will still be allowed per patient per day for outpatient procedures, emergency room visits and clinic visits at this time. In addition, OB patients will still be allowed one partner plus one birth support person, such as a doula.

More information about Brookings Health’s efforts to fight COVID-19 can be found at


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