PITTSBURG — Ascension Via Christi announced on Tuesday that it will be taking further measures to "respond to the evolving coronavirus update."

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PITTSBURG — Ascension Via Christi announced on Tuesday that it will be taking further measures to respond to the coronavirus recent update.

Additional measures are designed to protect patients, visitors, caregivers and associates, the hospital said in a release.

"These steps are being taken proactively to protect our patients and associates, while still respecting the rights of our patients to receive visitors," Ascension Via Christi in Pittsburg President Randy Cason said in a release. "We continue to be committed to the health and safety of our patients, their guests and our associates."

Leaders at Ascension Via Christi are in close communication with community physicians and the Crawford County & Bourbon County Health Departments to help coordinate activities and share knowledge, Cason added.

"This is a time to stay informed and look for official sources of information, including the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the local health department," he said in the release. "For the time being, we encourage the community to stay home and practice social distancing, and especially individuals who feel unwell, have a fever or have traveled recently. It will take all of us to help reduce the spread of this illness."

As part of those measures, effective Tuesday, the hospital has revised visitor guidelines to request no more than one visitor per patient and no visitors under age 18. Implementing screening for everyone entering its hospitals and outpatient clinics through limited entrances at Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, the hospital said.

The Emergency Room Entrance will remain open 24/7. The main entrance (North side of hospital near gift shop) will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, outpatient entrance (Northwest side of hospital) will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and the Cancer Center entrance will only be accessible to Cancer Center patients from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Anyone who affirms that they have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing will be asked not to visit and return when he or she is no longer symptomatic, the release from the hospital said. They also will be advised to consider a virtual visit through Facebook, Skype or other online platforms. Those who are approved to visit will be asked to limit their movement within the hospital to and from the patient’s room.