Hospital & Clinic Visitor Guidelines

Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our patients, staff, and the communities we are privileged to serve. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Essentia Health has made the difficult decision to restrict visitors at our hospitals and clinics. This is being done to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission to our patients and staff.

The decision to allow visitation is reassessed regularly and may change.

Cafeterias are closed to visitors at this time.

Visitor Restrictions

To keep our patients safe and visitors informed, we've implemented the following visitation statuses: Green, Yellow, and Red.

Learn about the visitation status and restrictions for your family member or loved by selecting a visit option below.

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Care Conferences: Should be done through virtual methods if possible. If visitors are needed, up to 2 visitors will be allowed during the time of the conference as set by the guidelines above.

Access to Faith Leaders: In Essentia facilities with Essentia-employed chaplains, chaplains are available for ritual, support, prayer and assisting with virtual and phone connections with family and patient’s clergy/religious leader(s). Essentia employed Chaplains are not subject to this visitor policy.

Patient’s pastor or religious leader can visit COVID-19 negative patients and patients not suspected of having COVID-19 so long as the visit is not disruptive to patient care. Community clergy and religious leaders may visit COVID-19 positive and suspect patients only at the End of Life or for Compassionate Care, and these visits should be scheduled in advance.

Special considerations for individuals may exist. Visitation for these exceptions will be agreed upon by the care team (e.g. Physician, Nurse Manager, Administrative Supervisor, Charge Nurse, Chaplain and Social worker.

Visitor Safety Guidelines

Universal Masking

Essentia has implemented universal masking in all of our facilities. Patients, visitors, and staff need to wear a mask at all times inside any of our 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.

Entrance into the Building:

All visitors need to enter the building through the designated entrance. Screeners will ask you several health-related questions and provide you with a sticker that must be worn while in the facility. Please do not visit a patient if you have any symptoms of illness or have been exposed to someone who is ill.

Please bring a mask with you when you visit our facility. You must wear your mask from the time you enter the building until you leave the building, including while you are in the patient’s room.

Duluth Campus Designated Entries for COVID-19 Screening

To protect patients and staff, we're limiting entry to Essentia Health clinics and hospitals on our downtown Duluth campus.

All patients, visitors, and staff will need to use designated entries, answer COVID-19 screening questions, and have their temperatures taken.

Duluth: Since April 9, patients have been using the following designated entries:

  • Duluth Clinic First Street Building: Main entry on First Street and skywalk from parking ramp from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
  • Duluth Clinic Second Street Building, Essentia Health-Duluth Lobby: Second Street lobby of Essentia Health-Duluth (near statues and registration) and from parking ramp that enters lobby from the rear of the building from 5 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday -Friday. After 4:30 p.m., use the Red Ramp entrance.
  • Duluth Clinic Third Street Building: Third-floor and first-floor parking ramp entrance and first-floor main entrance off Third Street near Urgent Care and pharmacy from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
  • St. Mary’s Medical Center (Duluth) Skywalk from Red Ramp:
    • Procedural or surgical patient access between 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week
    • Visitor access between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., seven days a week
  • St. Mary’s Medical Center (Duluth) Third Street entrance is employee-only entrance. No staff should use the Emergency Department entrance.
  • St. Mary’s Medical Center (Duluth) Emergency Department: This entrance is for Emergency Department and MRI patients and visitors of Emergency Department patients only.

Duluth: Beginning July 10, visitors of patients at Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center and Essentia Health-Duluth use the following designated entrance:
St. Mary’s Medical Center (Duluth) Red Ramp Skywalk entrance: Park in the Red Ramp on East Fourth Street and take the skywalk entrance to visit patients at both Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center and Essentia Health-Duluth.

Duluth, MN: Beginning July 10, visitors of patients at Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center and Essentia Health-Duluth use the following designated entrance:

  • St. Mary’s Medical Center (Duluth) Red Ramp Skywalk entrance: Park in the Red Ramp on East Fourth Street and take the skywalk entrance to visit patients at both Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center and Essentia Health-Duluth.

See the designated entries on a map.

While in the Building:

You will be asked to go directly to the patient’s room and to stay in the room the entire time that you visit. Visitors to procedural areas may be asked to wait in a designated waiting area. No sleeping in the patient’s room. Do not bring outside food or beverages on-site, and check with the nursing staff before eating or drinking.

Wash your Hands:

Please wash your hands often. This is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick. It also helps to stop the spread of illnesses. Soap and water are best for killing viruses on your hands. If soap and water is not nearby, please use the hand sanitizer located throughout the facility.

Stand 6 Feet Away:

It is key to social distance yourself. Limit your contact with others, including your loved one and the healthcare team members by standing 6 feet away.

These visitor guidelines are reassessed every day and may change. We appreciate your understanding.

Personal Items & Gift Deliveries

To help protect patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are asking families and friends to limit personal items or gifts brought to patients who are in the hospital.

We understand that personal items can bring comfort to patients and help them heal. We know flowers and gifts can brighten a day and remind patients that people are thinking of them and wishing them a speedy recovery. We encourage you to send floral arrangements and gifts to patients when they return home.

The safety of patients and staff is our top priority so we must take steps to prevent the spread of infection. That’s why we are strictly limiting visitors at our hospitals during the pandemic. We also must follow a strict protocol for receiving and delivering any necessary personal items to patients.

If you bring a personal item to a patient, please 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.

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