"Hospitalized patients with COVID or suspected of having COVID will not be allowed visitors except for pediatric patients, patients for whom a support person has been deemed essential, obstetric patients and patients receiving end-of-life care," Essentia Health said in a statement.
For non-COVID patients, Essentia Health said visitors will be allowed under the following circumstances:
- Emergency department: One adult visitor is permitted for vulnerable adults, trauma or other patients requiring communication to a health care team on their behalf. Two adult visitors are permitted for pediatric patients.
- Pediatric units: Two adult visitors are permitted per patient.
- Labor and delivery units: One support person — plus a certified doula (for labor and delivery only) — for each mom.
- Neonatal intensive care units: Two parents are permitted to visit at a time.
- Surgery: One visitor is permitted for a vulnerable adult or other patient requiring communication to the health care team on their behalf. • Care conferences should be done through virtual methods if possible. If visitors are needed, up to two will be allowed during the conference.
- At end of life, only two visitors at a time will be allowed. Visitors can be rotated and will be required to wait outside the facility until it is their time to see the patient. Decisions regarding any variance requested for end-of-life visitation will be made by unit leadership and a patient’s primary physician. Visitors under 18 are only allowed in end-of-life circumstances.
- Access to faith leaders: At Essentia facilities with Essentia-employed chaplains, chaplains are available for ritual, support, prayer and assisting with virtual and phone connections with family and a patient’s clergy or religious leader. Essentia-employed chaplains are not subject to this visitor policy.
Essentia Health said that special considerations and exceptions for individuals may exist, but must be agreed upon by a patient’s care team.
Essentia Health did not say how long the no visitor policy will remain in effect, however, they did say they will continue to use other means for connecting patients with their loved ones, including technology for the time being.