Given the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Aitkin County, Riverwood Healthcare Center’s visitor restrictions have changed effective Nov. 6.
Riverwood has activated full visitor restrictions with no visitors permitted for hospital and clinic patients with only a few compassionate exceptions. There will be exceptions made for minor children, vulnerable adults, some surgical patients, and critically ill or end-of-life patients.
“We know this is a difficult time for patients and their families,” said Dr. David Taylor, Riverwood’s chief medical officer. “However, these temporary visitor restrictions are absolutely vital in protecting the health and safety of our patients, our community and our staff during the virus surge in Aitkin County. We appreciate the understanding of everyone at this time.”
For clinic appointments, Riverwood is encouraging telehealth virtual video visits as much as possible, and those driving patients to appointments will be asked to wait in their vehicles. When a patient needs help getting escorted to a test or exam, Riverwood staff members will offer assistance. Compassionate exceptions will be made for child patients and those with mental disabilities.
“With the significant increase in COVID-19 patients, hospital capacity across Minnesota is a struggle right now, especially in the metro areas,” Dr. Taylor added. “At Riverwood, we are still able to admit patients. But if your symptoms are mild, it is best to do a virtual video visit with your provider instead of coming in to the clinic or ER.”
With the increase in COVID-19 illness in our area there are more questions about testing. Appointments are required for testing at Riverwood’s Aitkin and McGregor locations. For an appointment at either location, call 218-927-2157. For Aitkin, testing hours are 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and for McGregor, hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Those who can get tested include anyone with virus symptoms or suspected COVID-19 exposure, pre-procedure patients, or essential workers.
Statewide testing information can be found at the Minnesota Department of Health website at https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/if-sick/testing-locations/index.jsp See also information on saliva testing, at home or at centers around the state.
Continue to wear masks wherever you go in public indoor settings as well as for gatherings of friends or family members outside your immediate household. Stay safe and help protect others.