Another sign of light at the end of the long, COVID-19 tunnel:  Essentia Health is rolling back their visitor restrictions to pre-pandemic numbers; there will no longer be quantity restrictions for people visiting non COVID-19 patients in either hospitals or clinics in the system.

The announcement came from Essentia Health after a review of the current COVID-19 situation in our area.  According to details released by the health organization:

  • "This decision was made carefully after evaluating several criteria, including the number of new COVID cases locally and the percentage of hospitalized patients.  These changes are based on the availability of space in each of our units.  Thus, visitors may still be limited in certain units."

Food and beverages from outside are also still being restricted within all Essentia Health facilities.

Additionally, Essentia reports that some restrictions in their long-term care facilities will remain in place.  They encourage individuals planning to visit loved ones at those long-term facilities to call ahead for the latest updates.

One thing that remains in place: the mask mandate for all individuals within Essentia Health facilities.  Officials with the medical facility share that they will also continue to screen incoming people for symptoms of COVID-19 as a precaution.  As with almost all medical facilities, they "will continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state department of health".

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This most-recent switch back to pre-pandemic levels for visitors follows Essentia's response.  When the COVID-19 Pandemic first started, the hospitals and clinics immediately closed their doors to all visitors.  It wasn't until this past May (2021) that the health facility revised their policies to allow two adult visitors per patient.  That most-recent restriction is the one that has now been lifted.

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