Dakota News Now is reporting that Sanford Health is implementing a new visitor policy to "protect the health and safety" of its patients and staff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new policy goes into effect on Friday, March 13, 2020.

The new policy restricts visitors to immediate family members with only one visitor per patient according to Dakota News Now.

Visitors will be screened as they enter to check for respiratory illness symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) and will be asked about recent travel and access will be limited to a few specific entry points in each facility.

The new policy is following recommendations made by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs also announced a “no visitor policy” at all of its nursing homes this week.

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