Ascension Via Christi is taking further steps to prevent COVID-19 at their hospitals.

They have asked volunteers not to report for their shifts and to stay home until further notice.  Additionally, Hospital-based health education classes, support groups and tours have been suspended.

On-site hiring events at the hospital have been suspended and all interviews will be conducted by telephone rather than in person.  Changes are also being made to the hospital cafeterias.

Buffets, salad bars, condiments and salad dressings have been replaced with pre-packaged items.  The utensil dispensers are also being replaced with no-touch systems.

Those patients with non-emergency, but urgent care needs are asked to consider using the virtual visit system through Ascension Online Care.  The cost has been reduced to $20 through the month of March by using the code HOME.

Last week, Ascension Via Christi revised its visitor guidelines and began cancelling or postponing previously scheduled non-essential travel, meetings and large group activities, such as its Wichita Medical Mission at Home, an annual day of free healthcare scheduled for April 18.

“Working with local and state public health officials, we are trying to limit the number of people in the hospital to further reduce patients’, visitors’ and associates’ risk for exposure,” said Sam Antonios, MD, chief medical officer for Ascension Via Christi hospitals in a news release to the media.