Increased Visitor Restrictions; Medical-Grade Masks Required At All CentraCare & Carris Health Facilities

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St. Cloud, Minn. – Due to the current surge of COVID-19 cases, and the need to strengthen protection against the highly contagious Omicron variant, CentraCare will be implementing two requirements at all facilities.

Visitor Restrictions
CentraCare is once again implementing a stricter visitor policy at all its facilities. The restrictions will go into effect Tuesday, January 11.

At CentraCare/Carris Health hospitals, the only visitors who will be able to enter our facilities are those visiting patients in the following situations:
End of life
Critically ill
Parent/legal guardian of a minor patient
Support person/legal guardian of an adult with cognitive, physical or developmental disabilities
Labor support
High-risk procedures requiring in-person discussions about care and informed consent

Visitations in these situations will be limited to one healthy visitor (which must be the same person) for the entire hospital stay. Some exceptions will apply.

At CentraCare/Carris Health clinics, the only visitor exceptions are:
One healthy visitor for adult patients with cognitive, physical or developmental disabilities.
Two healthy adult visitors for minor patients. Additional minors, besides the patient, are not allowed.

All other visitors are not allowed at this time. These restrictions do not apply to our long-term care facilities which follow separate guidance.

Medical-Grade Masks Required
Starting Monday, January 10, CentraCare will require all patients and visitors (ages 2 and older) to wear a medical-grade face mask at all facilities across the health system.

Several studies have shown that some cloth masks may not provide enough protection against the virus, and specifically the now-surging Omicron variant. Patients and visitors use a wide range of face coverings, making standardization necessary for the health and safety of all.

Patients and visitors with non-medical grade masks, including cloth masks, gaiters, or bandanas, will have medical-grade masks available to them upon arrival. Masking is required within all CentraCare and Carris Health facilities.

“With an alarming increase in the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, we’re taking these steps to protect the health and safety of our patients, visitors and staff,” said Dr. George Morris, Incident Commander for CentraCare’s COVID-19 Response. “We urge the public to help us during this outbreak by wearing a mask, getting vaccinated and boosted, and avoiding large crowds or gatherings until transmission decreases in our region.”

CentraCare continues to closely monitor COVID-19 activity in our communities. We appreciate the support and patience from the community as we implement these changes. They are needed to keep patients and staff safe, and to prevent the further spread of any illness.

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