RED WING — Hospitalized patients at Mayo Clinic Health System will no longer be allowed to have visitors starting 8 p.m. Friday, March 20, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compassionate exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis, including births and end-of-life care, according to a news release. All visitors granted exceptions will be screened prior to entry and turned away if exhibiting signs of respiratory illness. No visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed.

These visitor restrictions will remain in place until further notice. Mayo Clinic Health System encourages family members to consider other ways to connect with their loved ones via phone, text, social media or video chats.

"We understand that these restrictions will be difficult for patients and their loved ones," the news release states."We are taking these necessary steps to protect our patients and our staff. As always, the needs of our patients come first."

Updates will be posted on the Mayo Clinic Health System COVID-19 online resource site as well as Mayo Clinic Health System’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

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