Local hospital systems to change visitor restrictions

Restrictions are effective June 1
Wisconsin Democratic candidates promise Medicaid expansion

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Visitor restrictions at both Gundersen Health System and Mayo Clinic Health System are changing, effective June 1.

Mayo Clinic Health System will begin allowing one designated visitor per patient in the clinic and hospital beginning Monday, June 1.

Patients will be asked to choose one ‘designated visitor’ for the duration of their hospital or clinical visit. Designated visitors must wear a cloth face covering or face mask per Centers for Disease Control guidance. If the designated visitor does not have a face mask, one will be provided at any Mayo Clinic Health System location. In addition, designated visitors will be screened for symptoms of acute respiratory illness or communicable infection before being allowed to enter.
“We, at Mayo Clinic Health System, understand that these restrictions have been difficult on our patients, their families, and our staff to enforce,” says 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.”
Other points of reference regarding the updated visitor policy:
  • Compassionate exceptions will continue to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, including births and end-of-life care, among other specific circumstances.
  • Hospital visiting hours will be restricted to 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at this time.
  • Clinic patients can each have one designated visitor with them during normal business hours at Mayo Clinic Health System clinic locations.
  • Visitors under the age of 16 are not allowed at this time.
  • For the safety of patients in immune-compromised situations within the cancer center or patients previously diagnosed with COVID-19 within the hospital, Mayo Clinic Health System will continue to follow a no visitor policy.
  • One support person can remain throughout the hospital stay for obstetrical patients.
  • 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.

These visitor restrictions will remain in place until further notice.

Effective Monday, June 1, patients at Gundersen Health System will be able to be accompanied by one person, 16 years old or older, for appointments in a Clinic, Surgery, Outpatient Surgery Center, or Emergency Services location.

Pediatric patients will continue to be allowed one visitor, and adult patients in Gundersen hospitals are allowed one visitor over the age of 18 per 24-hour period.

All patients and visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms when they arrive and must continue to wear a face-covering whenever they are in a Gundersen facility.

Visitors who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms will not be permitted to enter any Gundersen facility.

Patients and visitors should not congregate in public areas within Gundersen and are asked to not bring any food or drinks into Gundersen facilities. They may purchase food or beverages in designated Gundersen food establishments.

More details on Gundersen’s visitor guidelines are available here.