March 24, 2020: The Minnesota Department of Health believes that COVID-19 is spreading broadly across Minnesota. As testing capacity increases, we know that the number of confirmed cases in our area will increase. This is why we need to take seriously our role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
- All Minnesotans are encouraged to limit time spent in locations that do not allow social distancing of six feet per person.
- By making healthy choices and practicing social distancing, we each can help break the chain of transmission.
- Community mitigation efforts – including staying home – will buy hospitals time to prepare for a future surge of COVID-19 patients. Staying home will help slow the spread of infection.
If you are concerned about your symptoms, call your health care provider.
- Your provider will work with you to determine whether you should be screened for COVID-19. Because of testing capacity limits, you may not be given a test. MDH prioritizes testing for hospitalized patients and health care workers. If your health care provider determines that your course of treatment will not be different even if you are positive for COVID-19, you may not be tested.
- We want to be sure you are receiving the right care in the right location. Based on your symptoms, you may not need to come to a hospital or clinic. Hospital care needs to be preserved for those who are acutely ill.
- After a health care provider obtains a sample for COVID-19 testing, the sample is submitted to MDH or a private lab for testing. Test results can take several days due to the volume of samples being submitted.
- You may be asked to isolate at home.
Single Entrance begins March 27
Beginning Friday, March 27 at 5 p.m., Mercy Hospital will close its Main Entrance until further notice. All patients should enter through the Emergency Entrance.
Updated Visitor Policy
No visitors will be allowed effective Friday, March 27, with the following exceptions:
- Inpatient Unit: Visitors will be allowed only for compassionate care needs. Family members should call the hospital/unit before coming.
- Communication Needs: One visitor will be allowed for pediatric, vulnerable adult, trauma or other patient needing help communicating to the health care team on their behalf.
- Labor and Delivery: One adult support person will be allowed per patient.
- No visitors who are ill will be allowed.
Elective surgeries and non-essential procedures
Elective surgeries and non-essential procedures are being postponed, in line with Gov. Walz’s executive order and guidance from the CDC and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. This includes non-essential appointments in imaging and lab. Sleep lab studies are also cancelled. At the present time, we will continue to schedule certain PT, OT, Speech and Cardiopulmonary visits. The therapist/clinician will triage each situation and determine best direction for the patient.
- Parents are asked not to bring children to parental appointments and siblings to other sibling appointments to help ensure the safety and health of all.
- All non-essential community meetings and classes at the hospital are cancelled until further notice, including support groups.
- Mercy’s Courtyard Café is closed to the public.
- Mercy Wellness Center is closed until further notice.
- The Copper Leaf Gift Shop is closed and volunteers suspended until further notice.
This is an evolving situation and additional changes are expected. Please check back frequently for updates at Mercy.
For up-to-date information and recommendations, go to:
- Minnesota Department of Health https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html
- Centers for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html