Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Sanford Bemidji & Bagley Medical Centers reduce visitor restrictions

Beginning Monday, Feb. 1, at 8 a.m.


February 1, 2021

BEMIDJI, Minn.–Due to the continued decrease in local COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions with COVID-19, Sanford Bemidji Medical Center and Sanford Bagley Medical Center are reducing their current visitor restrictions.

“When we updated our visitor restrictions in December, we saw a high of 138 new cases reported and 23 hospital admissions over the course of two weeks in Beltrami County. As of last week, the two-week, new case rate is 35.74 and 6 patients were admitted to the hospital,” said Dr. David Wilcox, medical officer and primary care physician with Sanford Bemidji. “Thank you to our patients and community members for your patience and understanding as we continue to balance the well-being needs of our patients and the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe.”

Effective 8 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 1, Sanford Bemidji and Sanford Bagley hospitals will implement the following guidelines for all visitors, including staff members and their families (changes are indicated in red):

• One visitor is allowed per patient per day.

o Patients must choose one person who will be allowed to visit the patient each day during established visitor hours.

• Visiting hours have been expanded to 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

• Visitors must still properly wear a surgical mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times, including while in the patient’s room.

o Surgical masks will be provided and cloth masks are not allowed.

o If a visitor refuses to comply and wear a mask, they may not be permitted to visit.

• Visitors may only use public restrooms in the hospitals—not the restroom in the patient’s room.

Exceptions to this visitor policy update include:

• Designated COVID-19 units—no visitors.

• Pediatric hospital patients will be allowed two parent/guardian visitors per day.

• Special Care Nursery patients will be allowed two parent/guardian visitors per day, both visitors must have newborn identification bracelets.

• End-of-life patient visitors will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

• End-of-life COVID-19 patients will be permitted one pre-determined visitor allowed daily. The visitor must follow protective measures including masking and self-quarantine for 14 days following their visit.

• These changes to the visitor policy do not apply to senior living or clinic locations.

All visitors must be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 upon entry to the facility in accordance with current CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines.

Anyone who is not feeling well, has recently had a known exposure to someone confirmed to have COVID-19, has a pending COVID-19 test or has been confirmed to have COVID-19 within the last 14 days, should not visit anyone in a hospital.

Sanford COVID-19 helpline

If you have COVID-19 symptoms or a recent known exposure, 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.

A known exposure is defined as being within six feet of someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more without wearing a mask.

COVID-19 symptoms include fever of 100.4⁰F, chills, sore throat or cough, new onset of shortness of breath, new onset of loss of taste and smell, new onset of muscle pain, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, new headache or excessive fatigue or congestion or runny nose.

For more information regarding COVID-19 and care with Sanford Health, go to


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