Essentia Health announces visitor restrictions

News release from Kathy Sell-Marketing Manager at Essentia Health:

Our top priority is the safety and wellbeing of our patients, staff and the communities we are privileged to serve. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Essentia Health has made the difficult decision to restrict visitors at our hospitals. This is being done to protect patients and staff, and prevent the spread of this virus.

No visitors are allowed, except in the following circumstances:

Inpatients: Visitors only will be allowed based on compassionate-care needs. Family members are advised to call the hospital/unit before coming.
Emergency department: One visitor for pediatric, vulnerable adult, trauma or other patient requiring communication to a health care team on their behalf.
Pediatric patients: One adult visitor will be allowed per patient.
Labor and delivery patients: One adult visitor will be allowed per patient.
Neonatal intensive care unit: One parent is permitted to visit at a time.
All other visitors will be asked to leave the hospital.

Additionally, no visitors who are ill will be allowed.

We encourage family and friends to use alternative methods of communication with patients, such as phone calls, Facetime, Skype or other digital channels.

We recognize this change will be difficult, but we believe it is necessary to protect our patients and staff from spreading illness.

This policy goes into effect at noon Monday, March 16, and will continue indefinitely. We appreciate the understanding of everyone affected.