The Northland is currently experiencing a slowdown in the spread of COVID-19, and Essentia Health has updated its visitor policy accordingly.

According to their press release, one adult visitor per patient per day will be allowed in all clinics and hospitals, including emergency departments. Previously, visitors were only allowed for special circumstances. This is directly related to a significant drop in the number of COVID-19 patients in their hospitals. Essentia Health notes that these changes do not impact their long-term-care facilities.

The change in the visitor policy went into effect on February 9 with the following variances to the policy in place:

  • 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.

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.

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Essentia Health reminds everyone that these policies will only work if all visitors follow their guidelines. They do 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.

The updated visitor policy will remain in effect as long as the current number of COVID-19 cases remains stable.  Should the numbers change, Essentia will update their policies as needed.  You can click on the button below to access their current visitor guidelines.

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