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Mayo Clinic Health System announces temporary no-visitor rule effective Sunday

WIZM staff

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Patients hospitalized at Mayo in La Crosse are not permitted to have visitors for now, because of concerns over COVID-19.

Mayo Clinic Health System added new restrictions for its Southwest Wisconsin facilities to protect patients and staff from the Coronavirus outbreak.

“We understand that these restrictions will be difficult for patients and their loved ones. We are taking these necessary steps to protect our patients and our staff. As always, the needs of our patients come first,” said a Mayo source.

Compassionate exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis, including births and end-of-life care, among other specific circumstances. All visitors granted exceptions will be screened prior to entry. Those who screen positive for respiratory illness will not be allowed to visit. No visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed.

Mayo Clinic said these visitor restrictions will stay in place until further notice and encouraged family members to consider other ways to connect with their loved ones via phone, text, social media or video chats.

The front entrance to the hospital will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and any visitors will be screened before entering the facility.

Starting Monday, Mayo Clinic will ask patients to not use the Family Health Clinic entrance. Patients are asked to enter the clinic through the main doors only for more effective screening.

As of Saturday morning, more than 250 tests have come through the Drive-Thru, according to Mayo Clinic Health System. Daily hours of testing are 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. All patients must be pre-screened by telephone and be referred for testing.

Mayo Clinic said it now has the capacity to process as many as 4,000 coronavirus tests per day. The increased capacity is credited to three high-throughput diagnostic processors from Roche Diagnostics.

The hospital said community members continue to step up. Viterbo University donated hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, sanitizer wipes, and other eye protection to Mayo Clinic Health System late Friday.

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