DODGE CITY — As COVID-19 cases rise in Dodge City, businesses are in the beginning stages of implementing similar protocols to when the pandemic first arrived.


Among those is Western Plains Medical Complex that stated it will be reimplementing zero-visitor restrictions, suspending its limited visitation until further notice.


"Like many communities across the country, we are starting to see an uptick in COVID-19 cases in Dodge City," said Win Kyi, chief of medical staff at Western Plains Medical Complex. "We believe this proactive effort is necessary to do our part in keeping our patients and employees as safe as possible.


"In addition to this effort, it is also imperative that we encourage wearing a face mask, observe social distancing and wash our hands. These three simple actions go a long way in keeping you and our community safe and healthy."


The zero-visitor restriction will begin on Friday, Nov. 13. According to WPMC, some exceptions may apply regarding pediatric patients, obstetric patients and those receiving end-of-life care.


Health screens will occur for all individuals entering the hospital, with the hospital denying entry to those who do not meet the criteria unless "they are seeking care."


WPMC lists the evaluation criteria as follows:


• Symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting.


• Universal masking at the facility. All individuals are required to wear a face covering.


The Emergency Department entrance will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


"We want to reassure our communities that it is safe to come to the hospital should you or your family need care," Kyi said. "As a regional hospital, we are continuing to serve our communities."


For more information, visit www.CDC.gov or visit the WPMC website for preparedness information at https://www.westernplainsmc.com/covid-19-information.