Visitor Restrictions & Appointment Information

Visitor Restrictions and Appointment Information

Masking Policy

All Sanford Health locations require visitors and patients to wear a mask whenever possible. Both cloth and surgical face masks are acceptable at most locations. Bemidji locations only accept surgical masks. We encourage you to bring your own face mask, but we will provide a mask if you don’t have one.

This policy also applies to those who have recently received the COVID-19 vaccine. We’re still requiring masks for all visitors and patients until we get further guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Please remember that it is important to continue to wear a mask, wash your hands and practice social distancing after getting vaccinated. Masks help protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19, those who can’t get the vaccine and those waiting to get vaccinated.

Masks are also mandatory for individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 since we don’t know how long immunity lasts. There have been documented cases of reinfection within Sanford Health’s footprint.


Visitor Restrictions

Some facilities may have different restrictions. Please call ahead at the location you’re visiting to learn about their policies.

Hospitals

Current visitor policy:

  • Hospital visiting hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
  • Each patient is allowed up to two visitors or support persons. This policy applies to admission and recovery units (ARUs) and day units. Visitors rotation policies vary by region.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patient visitors can include parents, guardians and other support persons. NICU policies may vary by facility. Please call ahead to confirm.
  • All minor visitors must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • Visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and must wear a mask (cloth or surgical) at all times. If they don’t have a mask, one will be provided.

For COVID-19 patients in isolation:

  • Adult and pediatric patients are allowed two visitors per day. Visitors can’t rotate.
  • Locations with COVID-19 patients in double occupancy (shared) rooms may choose not to allow visitors.
  • While many facilities allow visitors, Sanford Health medical centers can choose to be more restrictive based on the location’s needs, patient volumes and community spread.
  • All COVID-19 patient visitors will receive a handout on our safety protocols.
  • We strongly recommend that visitors be vaccinated against COVID-19.
    • Unvaccinated visitors should quarantine for 5 days following their visit, followed by strict mask use for 5 days after that.
    • Fully vaccinated visitors should wear a mask for 10 days after their visit.

Bemidji and Bagley

Sanford Bemidji and Sanford Bagley hospitals follow these visitor guidelines:


  • Visiting hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Two visitors are allowed per day. Patients must choose two people who will be allowed to visit during visiting hours that day.
  • COVID-19 patients aren’t allowed visitors unless noted in the exceptions list below.
  • Visitors must wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose at all times, including while in a patient’s room. Surgical masks are recommended and will be provided.
  • Visitors over the age of 5 are allowed with an adult.
  • Visitors should limit time spent outside the patient’s room and only use public restrooms.

Exceptions include:


  • Pediatric hospital patients will be allowed two parent or guardian visitors per day.
  • Special Care Nursery visitors need to be accompanied by a visitor with an identification bracelet. Children ages 5 to 17 are allowed a 15-minute visit.
  • End-of-life patient visitors will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • End-of-life COVID-19 patient visitors will be determined and coordinated through the patient’s care team.

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

Bismarck

For our hospitalized COVID-19 patients, we follow these visitor guidelines:


  • No visitors are allowed in the 1NW hospital unit or any areas of the hospital where COVID-19 patients are in semi-private rooms or areas.
  • Adult and pediatric COVID-19 patients in isolation in private rooms outside the 1NW unit are allowed two visitors per day. Patients must choose two people who will be allowed to visit during visiting hours that day. Visitors must be 18 years old or older.
  • COVID-19 patient visitors must limit their visit to the patient room or care area only. They can’t visit other patients or sit in the lobby or waiting rooms. We ask that they don’t conduct other business or stop at the cafeteria, lab or elsewhere in the medical center during their visit.
  • End-of-life COVID-19 patient visitors will be determined on a case-by-case basis in coordination with the patient’s care team.
  • If you’re going to visit a patient who has tested positive for COVID-19, our screening team in the lobby will give you a handout on safety protocols. If you’re visiting a non-COVID-19 patient, you can visit during our visiting hours, which are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.

Other requirements:


  • All visitors must wear a visitor badge and face mask covering their mouth and nose at all times. No overnight visits are allowed.
  • Visitors experiencing COVID-19 or influenza symptoms are not allowed to visit.
  • Anyone who develops COVID-19 or influenza symptoms while visiting must leave immediately.
  • Any visitor who is positive for COVID-19 and within the quarantine timeframe will not be allowed to visit.

Fargo

All patients are allowed two visitors per day. Visitors can’t rotate. Patients must choose two people who will be allowed to visit during visiting hours that day.

For visitors seeing non-COVID-19 patients:

  • Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms is not allowed to visit.
  • Visitors who develop COVID-19 symptoms while visiting must leave immediately.
  • Any visitor who is positive for COVID-19 and within the quarantine timeframe will not be allowed to visit.
  • All visitors must wear a visitor badge and face mask while in a patient’s room or elsewhere in the medical center.

Those visiting patients who tested positive for COVID-19 must follow the above guidelines. They should also follow these additional requirements:


  • Any unvaccinated visitors should quarantine for 14 days after their last contact with a COVID-19 patient.
  • Visitors must limit their visits to the patient room or care area only. They can’t visit any other patients.
  • Visitors shouldn’t sit in the lobby, dining areas or waiting rooms.

Our guest services team will give those visiting COVID-19 patients a handout on our safety protocols.

To learn more about our visitor policy, call (701) 234-2000.

Sioux Falls

  • Adult Patients:
    • Each adult patient is allowed up to two visitors in a single day.
    • Visitors may not rotate in a single day.
      • Each patient may have more than two visitors throughout the duration of their stay; the limit of two applies to a single day.
    • All other support person(s) MUST remain outside of the hospital
  • Sanford Children’s Hospital Pediatrics and NICU Patients:
    • Each pediatric patient is allowed two visitors at a time
    • May rotate up to six visitors from a predesignated list
    • Visiting hours are 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
    • Parents and/or guardians may visit 24/7

When visiting a COVID-19 patient, visitors should follow these guidelines for their safety:


  • Visitors are allowed from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Two visitors are allowed per day for adult and pediatric patients. Visitors can’t rotate.
  • All visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • Visitors must check in and be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. Any visitor experiencing symptoms will not be allowed to visit.
  • If a visitor develops symptoms while visiting, they must leave immediately.
  • Visitors must wear a surgical mask at all times, regardless of vaccination status. The mask must cover their mouth and nose. A surgical mask will be provided to visitors who need one.
  • Visitors should limit their visits to the patient room or care area only. Don’t visit any other patients or sit in the lobby or waiting rooms. Refrain from visiting the cafeteria or gift shops and don’t use valet services if able.
  • The patient’s care team may ask visitors to step out of their room during certain procedures.
  • Those visiting COVID-19 patients should practice physical distancing of at least six feet when outside the patient room and leaving the facility.
  • Visitors should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer often, including when entering the building and entering and exiting the patient’s room.
  • We strongly recommend all visitors receive the COVID-19 vaccine before visiting. Unvaccinated visitors should quarantine for 14 days after their last day of exposure to a COVID-19 positive patient.

Find a Location


Clinic Visits and Outpatient Appointments
  • Each patient is allowed up to two visitors.
  • One visitor may be a minor if they are accompanied by a responsible adult over the age of 18.
  • Pediatric and neonatal patient visitors can be an adult or minor and can include parents, guardians and other support persons.
  • Visitors must wear a mask (cloth or surgical) at all times. If they do not have their own mask, they will be provided one.

Long-Term Care Facilities

To protect long-term care residents, we implemented visitor restrictions early on in the COVID-19 pandemic. While safety remains our top priority, we can now allow in-person visits because of the precautions we’re taking. Please note, visitation in long-term care may vary according to guidelines from state and local departments of health.

These policies are in place at all of our locations:

  • Before each visit, all guests are screened for symptoms and potential exposure to COVID-19.
  • Visitors are required to wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times.
  • Visitors are required to wash or sanitize their hands before their visit.
  • Visits take place in designated visitation areas. When circumstances allow, our first option is to hold visits outside.
  • Visitors are asked to maintain a distance of at least six feet from their loved one, staff and other residents.
  • Each location determines the number of visitors allowed per resident per day, as well as the total number of visitors allowed at the location at one time.

To schedule a visit or learn more about safe visit guidelines, please contact the location directly.


Lab Updates

In Bemidji, we’re offering an alternative lab sample collection site for COVID-19 testing. This location is only for patients with an order from their provider for a COVID-19 test. This site is not for drive-thru access to testing and individuals without a provider order will be turned away.

To receive a test, patients must meet all of the CDC requirements for COVID-19 and have an order from a Sanford Health provider.

For more information and questions about testing, call (218) 333-5000.

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