In preparation for more cases of the novel coronavirus and to help reduce or slow the spread of it, St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center has begun restricting access to visitors. In a release Friday evening, the following was published:

Beginning Saturday, March 14, we are modifying access to our facilities in order to allow implementation of a verbal screening protocol for visitors.

• Each patient is limited to one visitor and no visitor may be under the age of 14 years old.

• Hospitals will have limited entry with staff asking visitors if they fever or respiratory symptoms, have known exposure to people with COVID-19 within the last 14 days or have traveled to high-risk areas.

These restrictions are in place to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff.

Idaho officials confirmed Friday the first case of coronavirus in Idaho. Hospital staff have been working nonstop and placing themselves in danger of infection to help those in need. If you are sick or may be sick, get the medical help you need but do not visit those who are already in the hospital dealing with ailments and already compromised systems. Don't take your children to visit hospital patients. Be smart about your interaction with others as the virus spreads and you can be one of the reasons it stops. Wash your hands and cover your coughs.

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