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Austin hospitals increase precaution, limit entry due to coronavirus threat

One of the largest healthcare providers in Central Texas has temporarily restricted the number of visitors a patient can have to two.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: On March 13, the City of Austin announced two coronavirus cases in the Austin area tested presumptively positive.

Austin hospitals have increased screening measures and limited entry amid the coronavirus threat.

Ascension Seton, one of the largest healthcare providers in Central Texas, has temporarily restricted the number of visitors a patient can have to two. Anyone with flu-like symptoms including cough, fever, shortness of breath, a runny nose, nasal congestion or a sore throat, or anyone who has recently traveled to a region impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak will not allowed inside, according to a statement from Ascension Seton.

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People considered a risk are those who have been to countries deemed a Level 3 or Level 2 risk by the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention within the past 14 days.

Along with these precautions, Ascension Seton is considering implementing phone screenings before appointments to limit potential exposure to the virus.

St. David's Healthcare is also exercising increased caution at this time by screening all patients and visitors, asking if they have exhibited any flu-like symptoms or traveled out of the state, upon entry to emergency rooms.

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