CentraCare requires medical-grade masks, limits visitors across health system

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CentraCare hospitals and clinics will be limiting visitors starting Tuesday and requiring the use of medical-grade masks in all of its facilities starting Monday.

The health system cited a surge of COVID-19 cases, particularly the highly contagious omicron variant.

CentraCare visitor restrictions

Hospital visitors will be limited to one healthy visitor during the duration of their stay for people 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

CentraCare clinics will allow:

  • One healthy person to accompany adult patients with cognitive, physical or developmental disabilities.

  • Two healthy adults for minor patients. Additional children, besides the patient, are not allowed

CentraCare long-term care facilities will set separate visitor protocols.

Medical-grade masks required

Starting Monday, CentraCare will require all patients ages 2 and older and visitors to wear a medical-grade face mask at all of its facilities.

CentraCare said in a statement issued Sunday that various studies have shown that some cloth masks may not provide enough protection against the now-surging Omicron variant.

Patients and visitors with non-medical grade masks, including cloth masks, gaiters or bandanas, will have medical-grade masks provided to them upon arrival. Masking is required in all CentraCare 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.”

This article originally appeared on St. Cloud Times: CentraCare requires medical-grade masks, limits visitors across system

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