EAU CLAIRE — Mayo Clinic Health System in northwest Wisconsin will begin allowing one visitor per patient beginning 8 a.m. Wednesday at hospitals and emergency departments in Barron, Bloomer, Eau Claire, Menomonie and Osseo, as well as all Mayo Clinic Health System clinics in the region.

Visitors must wear masks, be screened at the door and follow safety guidelines, Mayo Clinic said in an announcement Tuesday.

Visitors should bring their own masks, but Mayo Clinic sites will provide one if visitors do not have a mask.

Children under 13, people who test positive for COVID-19 and are isolating at home, people with a pending COVID-19 test and people with COVID-19 symptoms won’t be allowed as visitors.

Patients who test positive for COVID-19, or who have a pending test, will not be allowed visitors. (Mayo Clinic may allow exceptions to visitor restrictions for people receiving end-of-life care, pediatric patients and elderly patients who need assistance, according to the clinic. For a full list of exceptions, visit mayoclinic.org.)

Visiting hours will be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at the hospitals. For outpatients, visiting hours are for the duration of the appointment, according to the clinic.

The new policy will replace Mayo Clinic’s no-visitor policy that began in October 2020.

Mayo Clinic said in its announcement: “This policy will remain in place until further notice. Mayo Clinic Health System will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic in the region and adjust policies as needed to provide a safe environment for patients, visitors and staff.”

Sarah Seifert is the L-T's education and health reporter. She has worked as a journalist in the Chippewa Valley since 2017 and joined the L-T in 2019. Get in touch at sarah.seifert@ecpc.com or on Twitter @sarahaseifert.