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Mayo allowing patients one visitor starting Jan. 4
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Mayo allowing patients one visitor starting Jan. 4

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Mayo Clinic Health System locations in Southwest Wisconsin will begin allowing patients one designated visitor starting Jan. 4, after months of COVID-19 related restrictions.

Mayo hospitals in La Crosse and Sparta, as well clinic buildings in La Crosse, Onalaska, Holmen, Sparta, Tomah, Arcadia, Prairie du Chien and Caledonia, will permit one visitor per patient between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or normal clinic business hours.

Visitors must be 16 or older and wear a face covering while on the premises. Visitors also will be screened for symptoms of acute respiratory illness or communicable infection prior to entry. Visitors will not be permitted for those being treated in the COVID-19 units.

“With local data showing COVID numbers stabilizing, and with vaccinations underway, we felt (it appropriate) at this time to allow one visitor per patient,” said Jason Fratzke, chief of nursing operations and COVID-19 Incident commander for Mayo Clinic Health System Southwest Wisconsin.

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“We understand that the previous restrictions have been difficult on our patients, their families, and our staff to enforce. We must remind everyone that making this decision doesn’t mean the end to this pandemic is here yet. We ask everyone to continue taking the necessary steps to protect themselves and their loved ones so that we don’t see another spike of cases. We will always keep in mind that we are entrusted with protecting the lives of our patients and our staff.”

Under the new visitor guidelines, one support person can remain throughout the hospital stay for obstetrical patients, and one visitor is allowed at the Stephen and Barbara Slaggie Family Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. The chemotherapy treatment room will remain at a no visitor policy at this time.

Patients coming to the emergency room will be allowed a designated visitor unless the patient or visitor presents with any symptoms possibly related to COVID-19. The new visitor restrictions will remain in place until further notice.

“We will monitor and make further adjustments as this pandemic continues,” Fratzke says. “We encourage family members to consider other ways to connect with their loved ones via phone, text, social media or video chats.”

Emily Pyrek can be reached at emily.pyrek@lee.net.

"We understand that the previous restrictions have been difficult on our patients, their families, and our staff to enforce. We must remind everyone that making this decision doesn’t mean the end to this pandemic is here yet."

Jason Fratzke, chief of nursing operations

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