Sanford Health updates visitor restrictions

Sanford Health is updating its visitor restriction policy and visitor monitoring practices, which were in effect Monday, June 29.

Hospital visiting hours will be 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily (previously started at 8 a.m.). Each pediatric and neonatal patient in any Sanford Health clinic or hospital will be allowed up to two visitors per appointment (adult or minor). This can include parents, guardians or other support persons.

Upon their arrival, visitors to the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center will now encounter the hospital’s new guest screening system, Easy Lobby.

“With recent updates to visitor and screening guidelines, visitor monitoring has become more challenging,” said Joy Johnson, vice president of operations for Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota.

“This new system not only assists us with maintaining visitor guidelines but also allows us to identify all in the facility should an emergency situation arise helping us keep patients, staff and visitors safe during visitor restrictions at the hospital.”

Easy Lobby is an automated visitor management system that the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center has been using for 3rd floor OB/GYN visitors since fall of 2017. With Easy Lobby in use by all visitors, security is able to accurately identify all who are in the hospital in real time.

With this new system, visitors will present their ID. It is scanned into the system, and a paper badge is printed with their name, date and the location they will be visiting. Visitors are required to wear this badge throughout their visit. If a visitor returns the next day, they will be issued a new badge for their visit that day.

All other prior visitor guidelines remain in effect:

·         One adult visitor is allowed with each patient at hospitals and clinics across the health system.

·         All visitors will be screened according to current CDC guidelines, and are expected to wear a cloth or surgical mask at all times. This does not apply to COVID-19 specific units.

·         Similarly, for clinic visits and outpatient appointments, one adult visitor is allowed with each patient. The visitor is expected to wear a surgical or cloth mask at all times.

As a reminder, anyone who is not feeling well, should not accompany another patient to an appointment or visit anyone in a hospital. If you have COVID-19 symptoms please call your regular health care provider or a Sanford healthcare provider at (218) 333-5000—do not come in-person to the clinic in order to protect staff and other patients. Those symptoms include fever, chills, sore throat, cough, new onset of shortness of breath, new onset of loss of taste and smell, new onset of muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

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