With COVID-19 positivity rates decreasing, vaccinations increasing and fewer patients requiring hospitalization due to COVID-19, Essentia Health has announced less restrictive visitation guidelines.

As of Thursday, May 27, two adult visitors per patient will be allowed in their clinic and hospital settings, including emergency departments. Some surgical and procedural spaces may have special instructions that will be communicated to patients prior to their procedure. Visiting hours remain between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Essentia Health notes that adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are still unable to have visitors except in special situations such as obstetric care or end-of-life.

While these visitation guidelines have been relaxed, one thing that hasn't changed is that all Essentia Health staff, patients and visitors are still required to wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose while in their facilities. All visitors are also required to stay in the patient room during their visit. Also, approved visitors will be screened for COVID and will not be permitted if symptomatic.

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It is also recommended that visitors limit personal items or gifts brought to patients who are in the hospital. Flowers should be sent to a patient at their home once they are released from hospital care.

Anyone who does bring a personal item to a patient must follow these steps:

  • Call the patient’s nursing station and get permission to bring the item to the patient. You will be instructed where to bring your delivery at the hospital.
  • If you are bringing a cloth item, please launder it in hot water and dry it in a hot dryer before packing it in a clean disposable plastic bag.
  • Any item should be placed in a clean disposable plastic bag and the bag labeled with the patient’s name and room number.
  • Drop off the bag and list of what is in it at a hospital entry and screening station between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily. You must wear a mask to the screening station.
  • Your package will be delivered to the patient by hospital staff.

Essentia Health regularly re-evaluates their visitor restrictions, with protecting their patients and staff from the transmission of COVID-19 being the top priority. They will continue to update their policies as necessary moving forward.

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