Sanford Bemidji statement on first COVID hospitalization

The first COVID-19 patient was admitted into Sanford Bemidji Sundday.

According to a statement from Joy Johnson, vice president of operations for Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota, limited details will be shared with the community due to patient privacy laws.

“Following the progression of this pandemic in other communities, we knew this was not a matter of if, but when, and have been preparing our staff and facilities since March to care for positive inpatients,” Johnson.

“We can share that the patient knew he/she was positive and was able to share that prior to arrival at the hospital.”

Johnson said the patient is in isolation in a negative air pressure room, which does not allow the air in the patient’s room to circulate in the hospital.

“As well, the nurses, providers and staff providing care for this patient have been instructed in and given the appropriate PPE to safely provide care. While respecting the privacy of the patient and their family, we will continue to share what we can with the community.”


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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