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Relaxed visitor policies start June 1 for Mayo, Gundersen facilities in La Crosse area

Relaxed visitor policies start June 1 for Mayo, Gundersen facilities in La Crosse area

From the The pandemic hits home: Keep up with the latest La Crosse area news on COVID-19 series
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Gundersen and Mayo Clinic Health Systems are loosening some visitor policies after previous strict COVID-19 related restrictions.

Effective June 1, patients at Gundersen Health System may have one person, 16 or older, accompany them to appointments at Gundersen clinic, surgery, outpatient surgery center or emergency services locations. Pediatric patients may continue to have one person with them at a time, and adult inpatients will still be allowed one visitor, 18 or older, per 24-hour period.

All patients and visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms when they arrive and must wear a face covering whenever they are in a Gundersen facility. Visitors who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms will not be permitted to enter any Gundersen facility.

In addition, patients and visitors are asked not to congregate in any area inside the building and will not be allowed to bring in food or beverages as a safety precaution.

“Gundersen continuously evaluates visitor guidelines and may update them as the COVID-19 response continues to evolve locally, regionally and nationally,” the hospital said in a statement.

Mayo Clinic Health System’s visitor updates also take effect June 1, with one designated visitor 16 or older allowed per patient in clinic, emergency, obstetric or hospital settings. Immunocompromised patients in the cancer center or hospitalized patients previously diagnosed with COVID-19 will not be allowed visitors as a precaution. Compassionate care exceptions, including births and end-of-life situations, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Visitors must wear a cloth face covering while in the facility and will be provided one if necessary. They also will be screened for symptoms of acute respiratory illness or communicable infection before being allowed to enter. Hospital visiting hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

“We, at Mayo Clinic Health System, understand that these restrictions have been difficult on our patients, their families and our staff to enforce,” said Jason Fratzke, chief of nursing operations and COVID-19 incident commander for Mayo Clinic Health System Southwest Wisconsin. “We thank everyone for helping us continue to lower the curve by following these guidelines. Our staff continues to follow our Franciscan values in caring for patients during these difficult times. However, we must keep in mind that we are taking these necessary steps to protect our patients and our staff.”

Both hospitals remind community members to practice social distancing, wear a face covering in public, wash hands thoroughly and avoid touching your face.

For more information on COVID-19 and related hospital guidelines, visit https://www.gundersenhealth.org/covid19/ or https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/covid19.

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