While ensuring patients are cared for in a safe and healthy environment is the highest priority, Sanford Health also recognizes that being alone for hospital stays and some clinic appointments can be difficult. Sanford Health is implementing a new visitor policy in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that is intended to minimize the spread of COVID-19 while also reducing feelings of isolation.

As a reminder, anyone who is not feeling well should not accompany another patient to an appointment or visit anyone in a hospital. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please call your regular health care provider — do not come in person to the clinic in order to protect staff and other patients. Those symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Medical centers, hospitals and clinics

New visitor policy, effective May 20:

• One visitor per patient during visiting hours (8 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily) for all areas except designated COVID-19 units.

◦ All visitors will be screened according to current guidelines.

◦ All visitors must wear a face mask (cloth or surgical) at all times.

• If a visitor exception is made for a COVID-19 patient, that visitor will:

◦ Wear a mask at all times.

◦ Eat sack meals — using no trays, cutlery or dishes in patient rooms. These visitors should not enter the cafeteria.

◦ Self-quarantine for 14 days after visiting.

• For end-of-life care, visitors will be allowed at the discretion of the facility and then must follow all visitor guidelines.

• Patients are allowed to bring one visitor with them for clinic or outpatient appointments.

◦ Visitors must wear a face mask (cloth or surgical) at all times. If a visitor does not have a face mask, one will be provided.

Long-term care facilities

What this means in our skilled nursing and assisted living facilities:

• All locations are temporarily closed to all visitors until further notice to protect the health of our employees and residents who face the highest risk of illness.

• Friends and family are encouraged to communicate with loved ones remotely through phone calls, Facebook or video conferencing.

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