Some patients at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital will be permitted to have visitors again, Avera announced Friday afternoon.

Visits will be limited to one per patient per day during regular visiting hours, and visitors and patients are still being asked to observe social distancing whenever possible.

Minor patients and those who need assistance due to weakness or concerns with memory or decision making are permitted to have one visitor at Avera Medical Group clinics and Avera's outpatient and diagnostic imaging areas.

“We thank our patients and their families for their cooperation and patience during the time when we needed to restrict all visitors. We know this was difficult for everyone, but it was necessary in order to protect patients and staff while preserving valuable protective equipment,” said Kevin Post, DO, Chief Medical Officer for Avera Medical Group.

Visitation is still being restricted at Avera Brady Health and Rehabilitation and Avera Brady Assisted Living.

Additional protective equipment now being available was attributed as allowing Avera to admit more visitors. Avera is encouraging patients and visitors to continue wearing face masks while at one of its facilities. Masks are being provided for those who don't bring one. People will have their temperatures taken and screened for COVID-19 symptoms when entering Avera hospitals and clinics.