Hospital & Clinic Visitor Guidelines

Essentia Health recognizes that family involvement is an essential component of total patient care and encourages visits of family and friends. However, since many patients, particularly those in the specialty units, are highly susceptible to certain communicable disease, and because their exposure to such disease may have serious consequences, visitation guidelines are to be followed.

Guidelines for all Facilities

Masking Required

Everyone who enters an Essentia Health facility must be masked at all times. Essentia Health continues to follow the Centers for Disease Control and state Department of Health guidelines, which requires masking in health care facilities.

We ask that you please come with your own cloth mask. If you don't have your own, we will provide one.

Learn more important information from the CDC about face coverings.

COVID-19 screening

Patients and visitors will be screened for COVID-19 upon entry.

Food and beverages

Patients and visitors may not bring outside food and beverages into Essentia Health facilities.

Space for visitors may be limited

Some departments/units may need to limit visitors at this time due to space limitations.

Guidelines for Hospitals

Adults and children may visit patients with the exceptions listed below. Instructions in handwashing and other recommended precautions, based on the patient's diagnosis, will be provided by the nursing staff.

  • Visitors who are not feeling well will be asked to consider that their visit could pose a risk to the hospitalized patient. (In special cases, an ill visitor may be allowed to visit after consultation with the charge nurse and the patient's physician). 
  • Any visitor with a known or recent exposure to any contagious disease should be evaluated and restricted from visitation.
  • Parents of young children, be aware of the potential for communicable disease transmissions to their visiting children, particularly if they are visiting the Pediatric Ward or adults with communicable illnesses.
  • Children must be supervised by a responsible adult.


  • Children may visit siblings only.  In special situations, visitation by children other than siblings may be allowed, provided it is arranged in advance with the nursing staff.
  • In NICU, visiting children are screened by the Nursing Staff prior to their visit, to assure that the child does not have an infectious disease or has not recently been exposed to one.
  • In PICU, all parents are provided with health screening information and a screening tool at the time of admission. 

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