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Carris Health implements visitor restrictions because of surging COVID-19 cases

A limited number of visitors will be allowed at CentraCare and Carris Health medical facilities following implementation of new restrictions Tuesday. The changes are needed to keep patients and staff safe as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb in west central Minnesota.

A March 2020 file photo of a Carris Health-Rice Memorial Hospital sign that points toward the Emergency Department entrance. Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — Visitor restrictions are currently in place at several CentraCare and Carris Health facilities in west central Minnesota, including Willmar.

The restrictions were implemented Tuesday in response to the surge in positive COVID-19 cases and because hospitals are “reaching capacity,” according to a news release.

All visitors will be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and will be required to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth. Visitors who are diagnosed with COVID or have been exposed to the virus will not be allowed in the building — with few exceptions, according to the news release.

At hospitals, visitors will be allowed to visit patients experiencing specific situations:

  • End of life

  • Critically ill

  • Parent/guardian of a minor patient

  • Support person/guardian of an adult who has cognitive, physical or developmental disabilities

  • Labor support

  • High-risk procedures requiring in-person discussions about care and informed consent.

The visitations will be limited to one “healthy” visitor per day, with some exceptions for pediatric, end of life, inpatient rehabilitation and mental health.
At clinics, the visitor policy will allow one healthy visitor for adult patients with cognitive, physical or developmental disabilities and two healthy adult visitors for minor patients. Additional minors are not allowed.


While the changes will have an impact on patients and their families, the action is needed to keep “patients and staff safe,” according to staff from CentraCare and Carris Health.

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