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 & Restrictions for Hospitals

Due to the increasing transmission of COVID-19, Essentia Health Hospitals have implemented guidelines and restrictions to keep patients and visitors safe.  

  • 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.
  • In cases where children are allowed to visit, they must be supervised by a responsible adult.
  • Visitors should remain in the room of the patient they are visiting and are asked to wear a mask. 
  • Communal spaces, such as waiting rooms and coffee shops, are still open to visitors
  • Patients with known or suspected COVID-19 are not allowed visitors with the following exceptions:
    • Pediatric patients
    • OB patients
    • Patients in an end-of-life situation
    • Those for whom a support person has been determined to be essential to the care and safety of a patient

Hospital Visitation Guidelines by Location 

The below locations will have the following guidelines.

  • Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center (Duluth)
  • Essentia Health-St. Mary's Children's Hospital (Duluth)
  • Essentia Health-Duluth (Miller-Dwan Building)
  • Essentia Health-Sandstone
  • Essentia Health-Moose Lake
  • Essentia Health-Virginia
  • Essentia Health-Deer River
  • Essentia Health-Northern Pines (Aurora)
  • Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center (Brainerd)
  • Essentia Health St. Mary's Hospital-Superior

Adult Patients

  • Inpatient department, hospital-based outpatient clinic, and emergency department:
    • No visitors allowed.
    • One adult visitor is permitted for vulnerable adults or other patients requiring communication to health care team on their behalf. One person can be present if this caregiver is needed for managing and navigating patient care.
    • No visitors under the age of 18 unless visiting an immediate family member who is dying and escorted by an adult.
  • Inpatient psychiatric units:
    • No visitors allowed. 
  • Labor and delivery:
    • No visitors allowed.
    • Birth partner is permitted at all times.
    • A certified doula will be allowed during labor.
  • Surgical:
    • One adult visitor pre- and post- procedural may accompany patient to pre- and post- procedure space. Visitors will wait in communal spaces.
    • Must be the same individual visiting for the day.

Pediatric Patients

  • Pediatric units, neonatal intensive care units, hospital-based outpatient clinic, and emergency department:
    • Two adult caregivers are permitted per day
    • Must be the same individuals for the day.
  • Surgical:
    • Two caregivers may accompany patient to pre- and post- procedure space and then visitors will wait in communal spaces.
    • Must be the same individuals for the day.

Patients at End of Life

  • Two adult visitors are permitted at a time. Limited to immediate family and significant others.
  • Visitors can be rotated and will be required to wait in communal spaces.
  • Unit leadership and the patient’s primary physician will make decisions related to end-of-life visitation.
  • No visitors under the age of 18 unless visiting an immediate family member who is dying and escorted by an adult.

The below locations will have the following guidelines.

  • Essentia Health St. Mary's-Detroit Lakes
  • Essentia Health-Fosston
  • Essentia Health-Ada
  • Essentia Health-Holy Trinity Hospital (Graceville)
  • Essentia Health-Fargo

Adult & Pediatric Patients

  • Emergency department, hospital-based outpatient clinic, adult inpatient, pediatric inpatient, and neonatal intensive care:
    • Two adult visitors per day.
    • Must be the same two people on each individual day.
  • Labor and delivery:
    • One adult visitor per patient per day.
    • This is in addition to the birth partner.
  • Surgical:
    • Two adult visitors pre- and post-procedure.
  • Inpatient psychiatric units:
    • Visitation is not allowed due to the group therapy setting. 

Patients at End of Life

  • Two visitors.
  • Additional visitors may be allowed.
  • Unit leadership and the patient’s primary physician will make decisions related to end-of-life visitation.

Visitation Hours

General visitation hours in the hospital are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. When visitors are care partners or are visiting in emergency departments, pediatric inpatient units, and neonatal intensive care units, visitation is allowed 24/7. 

Like most websites, we use cookies and other technologies to keep our website reliable, secure, and to better understand how our site is used. By using our site, you agree to our use of these tools. Learn more.