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Essentia Health relaxes visitor restrictions

As the prevalence of COVID-19 declines across our region, Essentia Health is returning to pre-pandemic patient visitation at its hospitals and clinics.

Like many health systems, Essentia responded to the public health crisis in spring 2020 by limiting visitors to its facilities. This was done to protect the patients, staff and the communities it serves. As COVID ebbed and flowed, Essentia adjusted its policy accordingly. This past May, it relaxed it by allowing two adult visitors per patient across all clinic and hospital settings.

Starting today, those restrictions have been lifted.

In a press release, Essentia said this decision was made carefully after evaluating several criteria, including the number of new COVID cases locally and the percent of hospitalized patients. These changes are based on the availability of space in each of Essentia units. Thus, visitors may still be limited in certain units.

Similarly, some restrictions remain in place at Essentia’s long-term-care facilities.

Essentia said it will continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state departments of health. Masks are required among everyone within its facilities and Essentia will continue to screen all patients and visitors for symptoms of COVID. Additionally, no outside food or beverages will be allowed.

Visitor restrictions remain in place for COVID-positive patients, as well as patients suspected to have COVID. Essentia will continue to apply the prior exceptions related to visitors for patients that require assistance with communication, personal-care issues and in end-of-life situations. These exceptions need to be approved by the team caring for the patient.

Published in Breaking Essentia

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