As the COVID-19 Pandemic shut the doors to health facilities for all non-essential needs, standing non-urgent appointments were either cancelled or shifted to online virtual visits; the general public has been asked to not enter health care facilities unless there is an immediate medical need.

This "closing of the doors" left patients in hospitals and health care facilities without an essential part of the healing process: visits from and with their loved ones.  To create an alternative solution, officials with St. Luke's have launched a Virtual Visitors Program - designed to allow patient visits even as the front doors are closed.

The program is available to loved ones from the comfort of their own home, but there is an option for those who might not have reliable internet service or don't have the appropriate electronic devices to make it happen.  St. Luke's has developed a Virtual Visitors Center in the hospital's main lobby - providing families with devices and a safe and comfortable place to communicate with their family member or loved one who is in the hospital.

According to St. Luke's the devices are available on a first come-first served basis.  The hospital will have staff on hand to assist both patients and loved ones with the virtual visits.  St. Luke's Virtual Visitors Program and Center will be open Monday through Friday, 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM.  However, hospital officials suggest that if there is a need and response is good that the hours could be expanded in the future.

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