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Mayo to restrict visitor access, elective care in Rochester as COVID cases spike

On Friday afternoon, Mayo Clinic sent out this announcement about the increase in restrictions: “In response to increasing community spread of COVID-19, Mayo Clinic Hospital-Rochester will implement advanced visitor restrictions at Saint Marys and Methodist campuses, beginning at 8 a.m. CDT on Monday, Nov. 9.”

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The Mayo Clinic's Gonda building Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, in downtown Rochester. (Post Bulletin file photo)

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota and elsewhere skyrocket, Mayo Clinic will restrict visitor access and reduce the number of elective procedures in Rochester starting Monday morning.

"... We will not be allowing adult patients who are hospitalized to have any visitors," wrote Mayo Clinic’s Ginger Plumbo on Friday. "Under very specific circumstances (i.e. patients dying, or birth of a child), a single adult visitor will be allowed. Pediatric patients will be allowed two parents or guardians."

This move comes on the heels of Mayo Clinic Health System's Southeast Minnesota Region implementation a no-visitor policy on Oct. 28 for all of its facilities, except those in Rochester.

On Friday afternoon, Mayo Clinic sent out this announcement about the increase in restrictions: “In response to increasing community spread of COVID-19, Mayo Clinic Hospital – Rochester will implement advanced visitor restrictions at Saint Marys and Methodist campuses, beginning at 8 a.m. CDT on Monday, Nov. 9.”

The statement from Mayo Clinic’s Ginger Plumbo added that other “proactive” steps are also being taken.

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Mayo Clinic is “temporarily deferring some elective care so that we can care for the surge of urgent and emergent needs of our community, including the high influx of COVID-19-positive patients needing hospital care,” according to Plumbo.

When asked for more details about the changes in elective care, she responded, "Each specific practice area is prioritizing cases that require in-patient care based upon clinical criteria to ensure we meet the needs of our patients (i.e. cancer related treatment or procedures to avoid progression of disease or disability). There is no reduction in outpatient surgeries/procedures. There will no reduction on urgent or emergent cases that arrive in our ED or are transferred to us for care."

The reason for the return to more restrictive rules similar to those put in place during March was obvious as Minnesota recorded 5,454 cases of COVID-19, on 44,000 tests on Friday. The statewide total was more than 170,000 cases, shattering the previous one-day record by more than 1,000 cases.

It was the fourth consecutive day of record new cases. The cases represented 16% seven-day case growth, a rate double the 8% growth rate for testing.

The state also reported a record-high 36 deaths on Friday. Previously, the state'shigh mark was 35 deaths on both May 28 and Oct. 21. Minnesota has recorded 2,563 COVID-19 deaths so far in this pandemic.

Friday’s report also showed that 36 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19 with 212 being treated in intensive care units.

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