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Mayo Clinic Health Systems making changes as COVID spreads

Mayo Clinic Health Systems in Austin and Albert Lea have announced new visitor restrictions and that more COVID-19 testing will be available.

“We’re testing hundreds of people each day for COVID-19. In southeast Minnesota counties outside of Rochester, 15 to 20 percent of tests are coming back positive,” says Robert Albright, Jr. D.O., regional vice president, Southeast Minnesota Region, Mayo Clinic Health System. “Nearly all patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 are unvaccinated people. For our part, Mayo will continue to vaccinate as many people as possible, give antibody infusions to prevent hospitalizations, encourage masking and educate our communities on the threat of another surge. Our communities can, in turn, help us keep medical professionals available for non-COVID-19 care by getting vaccinated and wearing masks to reduce the spread of the virus.”

The number of visitors in its hospitals and clinics will be one per patient, starting Wednesday.

That goes for locations in Albert Lea, Austin, Cannon Falls, Lake City and Red Wing.

“Mayo Clinic Health System is making this change in response to increasing cases of COVID-19 in the communities it serves, largely due to the delta variant. All visitors must comply with masking and safety requirements. Visitor restrictions are subject to change, depending on the presence of COVID-19 in each community,” Mayo said in a statement.