Get ready to show your card.  St. Luke's has updated their visitor policy to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test within 72 hours.

The change goes into effect Monday, January 17.  As an amendment to St. Luke's current visitor policy, it's binding for visitors of all inpatients, surgical/procedural care, and the Emergency Department.

St. Luke's describes the change to their visitor policy as being (f)or the protection of patients and staff, due to the "incredibly high community spready of COVID-19".

St. Luke's Hospital in Downtown Duluth, MN
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

As a general summary, the medical facility is still not allowing any visitors for adult patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 "until the patient is no longer in isolation (no longer contagious)".  Although some exceptions "may be made" on an "invitation only basis" - for situations like a patient at the end of life or a vulnerable adult that needs "help with communications or decision making".

Patients who do not have COVID-19 are allowed visitors at St. Luke's, with pre-prescribed restrictions.  In addition to the new requirement to show a vaccination card or proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours, here is a run-down of some of the stipulations:

  • Adults:  Can have one adult visitor per day, 6:00 AM to 8:30 PM.  Once a visitor leaves the campus, they can not come back until the next day.
  • 8 West/Inpatient Rehab:  One adult visitor per day, weekdays, 3:30 PM tp 8:30 PM and weekends (Saturday and Sunday), 12:30 PM to 8:30 PM.  Again, once that visitor leave the campus, they can not come back until the next day.
  • Emergency Department: One adult visitor.
  • Labor and delivery:  One adult support person - who can not be suspected or confirmed COVID-19 positive.
  • Pediatric:  Up to two parents or guardians.
  • Critically unstable: Up to two visitors per day.
  • Surgical and Procedural Care:  One adult visitor per day, 5:30 AM to 8:30 PM.
  • End of life:  Up to two visitors at a time, maximum of four per day.  Once visitors leave campus, they can not come back that day.  However, up to two more people may enter the hospital and visit the patient.

For St. Luke's complete, updated visitor policy, visit their website.

St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, MN
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

What Do I Do If I Lose My COVID-19 Vaccination Card?

When you get your COVID-19 vaccine, you're handed a card that details the date, manufacturer variety, and location of your dose. If you're getting one of the two-dose vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna), you'll need that card to coordinate your second and final dose. But even with the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and even after getting the second shot, you'll need to keep that card in a safe place.

While nationwide vaccine mandates aren't a thing at the present time, there are a variety of times you might need that card even after completing the vaccine process. Many schools (primary, secondary, and higher education) are requiring the COVID-19 vaccine similar to other vaccinations. Additionally, some entertainment venues and mass transportation are requiring either proof of a negative COVID test or the vaccine card.

So what happens if you lose it? Relax. There are ways of obtaining a replacement - and they differ slightly whether you've lost it before getting both doses or after.

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