(Fargo, ND) -- As the prevalence of COVID-19 declines across our region, Essentia Health is returning to pre-pandemic patient visitation in their hospitals and clinics.
Like many health systems, Essentia responded to the public health crisis in spring 2020 by limiting visitors to our facilities. This was done to protect our patients, staff and the communities we serve. As COVID ebbed and flowed, they adjusted their policy accordingly. This past May, Essentia relaxed it by allowing two adult visitors per patient across all clinic and hospital settings. Starting Tuesday, those restrictions will be lifted.
"This decision was made carefully after evaluating several criteria, including the number of new COVID cases locally and the percent of hospitalized patients," said Media Relations Specialist Tara Ekren, "These changes are based on the availability of space in each of our units. Thus, visitors may still be limited in certain units."
Similarly, some restrictions remain in place at long-term-care facilities. You're asked to contact the long-term-care facility you’re interested in for the most up-to-date information.
Essentia 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 facilities and workers 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. The healthcare provider says it 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.
For more on the new visitors policy, click here.