Ascension Via Christi announced it has revised its visitor guideline and is canceling or delaying previously scheduled non-essential travel, meeting and large groups activities.


According to a news release posted Wednesday on the organization’s website, these measures are being taken in order to prepare for the coronavirus outbreak.


Ascension Via Christi has hospitals and medical centers across Kansas in Manhattan, Garden City, Dodge City, Wamego, Wichita and Pittsburg, Salina, Newton, Hutchinson and Hays.


The release said an annual day of healthcare hosted by the hospital’s Wichita Medical Mission at Home facility has been postponed indefinitely.


"Our guidance address the safety of our associates and the persons with whom we are privileged to serve, in addition to ensuring that we continue to deliver optimal care," Sam Antonios, chief medical officer for Ascension Via Christi, said.


Ascension Via Christi has revised its communications to align with those laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


• No visitors who have flu-life symptoms and/or cough, fever and/or shortness of breath, runny nose/nasal congestion or sore throat.


• Visits by children under age 14 will be at the discretion of patients and clinicians involved in their care.


• As per CDC guidance, visitors should not visit if they have returned form a country within the last 14 days that the CDC has designated as Level 3 Warning or Level 2 for COVID-19.


• Visitors should be limited to two at any given time.


Visitors are encouraged to wash their hands before entering and leaving a patient’s room, the release said.


"Again, our first priority is the safety of patients and families as well as our medical staff, associates and volunteers," Antonios said. "We believe that’s best accomplished by continuing to closely aligning our practices with evidence-based practices outlined by the CDC."