(Duluth, MN) — Essentia Health is implementing strict visitor limits at its hospitals and clinics across northeast and central Minnesota. As of yesterday, most adult inpatients and ER patients will not be able to be accompanied by any visitors unless they are considered vulnerable or need someone to communicate on their behalf. Also, only one adult visitor will be allowed for surgery patients, two caregivers for a child, and only a birth partner and certified doula in labor and delivery areas. The Duluth-based health system says the rules are necessary due to surging COVID cases. Essentia will continue to make policy changes as needed.