Essentia Health eases visitor restrictions
Amid a slowdown in the spread of COVID-19 across our region, Essentia Health is updating its visitor policy.
Beginning Tuesday, Feb. 9, one adult visitor per patient per day will be allowed in all clinics and hospitals, including emergency departments. Previously, visitors only were allowed for special circumstances. However, since the dangerous surge we experienced in November and December, the number of COVID patients in our hospitals has dropped significantly. It’s important to note that these changes do not impact our long-term-care facilities.
There are variances to this policy. For example:
• In pediatric units, two caregivers are permitted per patient per day.
• In neonatal intensive care units, two caregivers are permitted per day.
• In emergency departments, two caregivers are permitted for pediatric patients.
• In birthing centers,one adult visitor is permitted to visit. The birth partner is permitted at all times and is not considered a visitor. A certified doula will be allowed during labor.
• People under the age of 18 may visit an immediate family member who is dying when they are escorted by an adult.
Click here for complete details of our updated visitor policy.
For adult inpatient COVID-19 patients, no visitors are allowed except for end-of-life situations, when additional visitors may be admitted at the discretion of hospital leadership and the patient’s primary physician. Chaplains are available to patients and families for support, ritual and prayer.
Throughout this pandemic, we have continuously re-evaluated our visitor restrictions. They are in place to protect our patients and staff from the transmission of COVID. We will update our policy as necessary — either because of an increase in new cases or a continued decrease in community spread.
Our ability to relax this policy depends on the behavior of visitors, not only within our facilities but also out in the community. We are asking for the community’s help to make this policy change safe and successful on an ongoing basis. Specific measures must be in place to continue to safely allow visitors in our facilities.
It’s important also to note that we continue to require all staff, patients and visitors to wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose. All approved visitors will be screened for COVID and will not be permitted if symptomatic.