ST. CLOUD – With the latest wave of COVID-19 cases, CentraCare will be implementing more requirements across all of its facilities.

Starting Monday, CentraCare will require all patients and visitors two years of age and older to wear a medical grade face mask at all CentraCare and Carris Health facilities.

CentraCare officials say studies have shown that some fabric masks may not offer sufficient protection against the virus, especially against the burgeoning Omicron variant.

Patients and visitors wearing non-medical grade masks, including cloth masks, gaiters or bandanas, will have medical grade masks available to them upon entering.

From Tuesday, stricter restrictions for visitors will take effect. The new policy states that the only visitors allowed to enter CentraCare and Carris Health hospitals are those who visit patients under specific circumstances, including:

– End of life
– Seriously ill
– Parent / legal guardian of a minor patient
– Support person / legal guardian of an adult with cognitive, physical or developmental disabilities.
– Work support
– High-risk procedures requiring in-person discussions of care and informed consent

Visits in these situations will be limited to one healthy visitor (who must be the same person) for the entire hospital stay.

In CentraCare or Carris Health clinics, the only exceptions for visitors are:

– a healthy adult patient with cognitive, physical or developmental impairments
– two healthy adult visitors for underage patients.

All other visitors are not permitted at any facility at this time. These restrictions do not apply to long-term care facilities that follow separate guidelines.

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