Due to increasing COVID-19 patient volumes, visitors will be restricted at Essentia Health facilities in our East Market — which includes northwestern Wisconsin and northeastern Minnesota, west to Brainerd — beginning Tuesday, Oct. 5. The move allows us to better protect our patients and staff from potential COVID-19 exposure.

Essentia visitor restrictions for adult patients include:

• Inpatients: No visitors allowed, with the following exception: One adult visitor is permitted for vulnerable adults or other patients requiring communication to the health care team on their behalf.

• Emergency department: No visitors allowed, with the following exception: One adult visitor is permitted for vulnerable adults or other patients requiring communication to the health care team on their behalf.

• Labor and delivery: No visitors allowed. birth partner is permitted at all times. A certified doula will be allowed during labor.

• Surgical/procedural: One adult visitor may accompany a patient to pre- and post-procedural space. Visitors will wait in communal spaces; must be the same individual visiting for the day.

Essentia visitor restrictions for pediatric patients include:

• In pediatric units: Two caregivers are permitted per patient per day; must be the same individuals for the day.

• In neonatal intensive care units: Two caregivers are permitted per day; must be the same individuals for the day.

In addition, only two caregivers are permitted for pediatric patients; must be the same individuals for the day in emergency areas. Only two caregivers are permitted for pediatric surgical/procedural patients. Two caregivers may accompany patient to pre- and post-procedural space and then visitors will wait in communal spaces. Must be the same individuals for the day.

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COVID-19 patients and suspected COVID-19 patients

Patients known or suspected to have COVID-19 will not be allowed visitors, with the following exceptions: Pediatric patients; those for whom a support person has been determined to be essential to the care and safety of the patient; OB patients; patients at the end of life. In end-of-life situations, the visit should be scheduled; visitors should remain in the room and should always wear a mask and eye protection.

Patients at end of life:

• Two adult visitors are permitted at a time; limited to immediate family and significant others.

• Visitors can be rotated and will be required to wait in communal spaces.

• Decisions related to end-of-life visitation concerns will be made by unit leadership and the patient's primary physician.

• No visitors under the age of 18 unless visiting an immediate family member who is dying. These visitors must be escorted by an adult.

These restrictions apply to Essentia Health St. Mary’s Hospital-Superior, Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center, Essentia Health-Duluth, Essentia Health-Deer River, Essentia Health-Moose Lake, Essentia Health-Northern Pines (Aurora), Essentia Health-Sandstone, Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Essentia Health-Virginia and Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital. We continue to update and monitor our policy and make changes as they are needed. Please call ahead to ensure the most accurate and update to date visitor information.

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