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Updates from Essentia Health: COVID-19 assessment, appointments, and visitation policy

Web posted March 24, 2020
Essentia Health is committed to caring for our communities. As you know, the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic is changing rapidly. The health of our patients, our caregivers and our communities is at the heart of every decision we make as we respond to this pandemic.

Essentia Health is following guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health departments in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. We are working to limit the spread of this virus by:

• Rescheduling some elective surgeries and routine medical appointments for the next 30 days. If you have an appointment that will be affected by this change, you will be contacted by your doctor’s office. We will continue to evaluate the length of time we will postpone surgeries and routine appointments.

• Restricting visitors in our hospitals. In special circumstances, visitors will be allowed for some patients, such as children, women in childbirth and in end-of-life care.

• Offering E-Visits at no cost for assessments related to COVID-19 symptoms. If you have a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, and have traveled to an area of known COVID-19 exposure or have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID- 19, please start an E-Visit at www.EssentiaHealth.org/COVID-19. You can also call our toll-free COVID-19 hotline at 1-833-494-0836. Testing ordered as a result of the screening may incur a charge.

We apologize for the inconvenience caused by rescheduling appointments and restricting visitors. Like many other health care providers around the country, we are taking these steps for the safety of our patients and our communities.

Please do your part to help limit the spread of COVID-19. That includes:
• Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water isn’t available.
• Limit close contact with others as much as possible, staying 6 feet away.
• Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
• Clean commonly touched surfaces.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Follow the recommendations of your state and local health departments regarding gatherings and other public activities.

Thank you for all that you are doing to keep yourself and others healthy. I’d also like to recognize the outstanding work of our caregivers. In times like these, our communities pull together in a way that is truly inspiring. I am proud to live here and grateful for the opportunity to serve you.

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