Stormont re-implements stricter masking, visitor, meeting policies amid rising COVID cases

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 2:33 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - With its COVID in-patient volume tripling over the past month, Stormont Vail Health is re-implementing stricter policies for visitors and employees.

Stormont reported caring for 30 COVID-positive in-patients Friday. The hospital had fewer than 10 as recently as July 10. Calls to their call-before-you-go hotline also have increased over the past two weeks.

“With community spread fueled by the delta variant, we are witnessing increases in the need for respiratory care, COVID-19 testing, and enhanced primary care services for those with COVID-19,” Dr. Robert Kenagy, Stormont President and CEO, said.

In an announcement Friday, Stormont said all patients, visitors, team members, volunteers, and vendors entering Stormont facilities will again be required to wear medical grade facemasks. The health system will have them available at entrances for those needing one. The masks will be required at all times, including for people who are vaccinated.

In addition, no visitors under the age of 12 will be allowed, and all meetings should be conducted virtually. Department directors may allow exceptions for work that only can be done in-person, however masks and social distancing must be maintained during the meetings.

Stormont currently is evaluating its business travel policies, and is putting a hold any future business travel requests.

People attending Stormont’s education classes must be fully-vaccinated, with the exception of those taking childbirth classes. Attendees must wear facemasks, and sessions will be conducted in spaces that allow for social distancing.

COVID-19 vaccines are available free for all people age 12 and older at Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy, 2252 SW 10th Ave. Walk-ins are welcome from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday. Those who prefer to schedule an appointment may do so at

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