Visitor Restrictions & 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

Because some facilities may have a slightly different policy, please call ahead to confirm.
While ensuring patients are cared for in a safe and healthy environment is our highest priority, we also recognize that being alone for hospital stays and some clinic appointments can be difficult. As of March 5, 2021, Sanford Health has updated its visitor policy in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This update will prioritize safety while making it easier for patients and loved ones to support each other.


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 may rotate.
  • Visitor restrictions for patients in isolation for COVID-19 will remain the same with no visitors due to potential exposure risk. For end-of-life care, visitors will be allowed at the discretion of the facility and must follow all visitor guidelines.
  • 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 over the age of 18.
  • Visitors will be screened to follow current guidelines and must wear a mask (cloth or surgical) at all times. If they do not have their own mask, they will be provided one.

Bemidji and Bagley Hospitals

Effective Sept. 8, Sanford Bemidji and Sanford Bagley hospitals will implement these visitor guidelines:

  • Visitor 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 each day during visitor hours.
  • COVID-19 patients are not allowed visitors unless noted in the exceptions list below.
  • Visitors must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth 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.

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.

Find a Location

Sanford Health News

Classes & Events