SAWTOOTH MOUNTAIN CLINIC, GRAND PORTAGE HEALTH SERVICE AND NORTH SHORE HEALTH CONTINUE SAFETY PROTOCOLS PER CDC GUIDELINES
Masking and screening remain in place for local healthcare facilities
(May 17, 2021) – Sawtooth Mountain Clinic (SMC), Grand Portage Health Service (GPHS) and North Shore Health (NSH) announced that their facilities will continue mask requirements and entrance point screening. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised the interim public health recommendations to state that fully vaccinated individuals can forego masks and social distancing in many settings. However, healthcare facilities are an exception.
Kimber Wraalstad, CEO/Administrator of North Shore Health, stated “We understand that the CDC updated its guidance stating that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in many settings and that Governor Walz followed suit with updates to the Minnesota mask mandate. However, as a health care organization, and to meet our regulatory requirements, North Shore Health continues to require masks to be worn in our building.”
Community members should also expect to be screened for symptoms and exposure at facility entrances, regardless of vaccination status. Noted Kate Surbaugh, Sawtooth Mountain Clinic CEO, “Healthcare facilities serve the most vulnerable members of our communities, including those not eligible for vaccination. Continuing these required precautions protects us all.” Surbaugh continued, “Anyone who doesn’t have a mask will be offered one at the door and our friendly staff make screening a breeze.”
Similar protocols remain in place in Grand Portage, says Health Director Jennifer Sorenson, RN, “Although masking is no longer required in the enterprise and program buildings the mandate will remain in place at the Grand Portage Health and Human Services facilities.”
Wraalstad added, “We all thank our community for their help in protecting our patients, residents, staff and visitors and we appreciate their continued partnership and patience.”
Local healthcare facilities will continue to monitor CDC guidelines, local positivity rates, vaccination rates, state and federal guidelines in order to maintain safe facilities. The CDC update can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html