COVID covid coronavirusCOVID-19 (Coronavirus, COVID) | Northfield Hospital & Clinics


COVID-19 (Coronavirus, COVID)

Vaccine is available to everyone age 6 months and older. Call to schedule: 507-646-8019

About the COVID-19 Vaccines   |  Visitor Restrictions  

Tags: COVID, covid

Vaccine is available to everyone age 6 months and older. Make an appointment: 507-646-8019

Booster shots are recommended to keep your immunity up to date. To schedule appointments, call 507-646-8019. You can also get vaccinated at pharmacies or through Rice County Public Health(link is external), and Dakota County Public Health(link is external).

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Visitor restrictions

Visitor restrictions were updated on April 14, 2023: Visitation is open for hospitalized patients, including the Birth Center, and for all clinics.

Visitor restrictions may be adjusted if there’s a change in cases of COVID or other highly contagious viruses in the community. Visitor policies are based on infection-control best practices, and the level of contagious illness in the community.

In all departments:

  • Visitors with any COVID-19 symptom are not allowed.
  • All visitors must self-screen to rule out signs or symptoms of COVID. If potential visitor shows signs and or symptoms, they are not allowed to visit.
  • Visitors are required to be masked when visiting a COVID-positive patient.
  • Masks are optional. If COVID rates rise, we may resume mandatory masking. 
  • Visitors are asked to limit their movement in the facility. Visitors may visit the cafeteria to get a meal, but should not gather in the cafeteria.

In the hospital:  

  • All hospital patients may have visitors.  
  • Children in the hospital may have one parent/guardian who may stay overnight. 
  • Hospital patients with disability or dementia may have one designated support person who may stay overnight. 
  • Birth Center patients may have visitors. Birth Center patients may have a doula in the labor room during labor and birth, and 2 hours post-partum. Vaccination is strongly encouraged. COVID testing is encouraged before entering the Birth Center. Birth Center staff will ask a doula to leave if there are any symptoms of COVID, influenza or other contagious illness.
  • Outpatient surgery and endoscopy patients may have two visitors, due to space limits. 
  • Emergency Department patients may have two visitors, due to space limits. Children may have two parents/guardians. 
  • Outpatients in hospital departments may have visitors. This includes the Cancer Care & Infusion Center, Imaging, Same Day Surgery, Wound Healing Center, Breast Care Center, Lactation, and Lab. 

In clinics:

  • Adult and pediatric clinic patients may have visitors

In the Long Term Care Center:

  • Visitors are allowed. (Federal rules govern long term care centers differently than hospitals.) COVID precautions are in place for all visitors. Visitors with COVID symptoms or a positive COVID test should not enter. 

  • Masks are required when the Long Term Care Center is in outbreak status. Outbreak status is in effect when a resident or staff member has been in the LTCC while infectious for COVID in the past 14 days.

Other visitors: 

Masks are optional at NH+C locations

Masks are optional for staff, patients, and visitors. If COVID rates rise, we may resume mandatory masking. 

Clinic patients with respiratory symptoms are asked to wear a mask. This is to protect other patients and our staff.

Visitors must wear masks in the Long Term Care Center when it’s in outbreak status. The Long Term Care Center has separate requirements for masking during a COVID outbreak. When the LTCC is in outbreak status, all staff, residents, and visitors entering the LTCC must mask the entire time they are in the LTCC. This is important to protect the health of LTCC residents.

Individuals who need or want extra protection are welcome and encouraged to continue masking. We provide medical grade masks for anyone who chooses to wear a mask.

If you or a family member are at high risk for severe illness, talk with your healthcare provider about wearing a mask. See CDC recommendations here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find information on pregnancy and delivery during COVID-19?

We’re committed to providing the safest, most comfortable birth experience possible. Precautions include:

Who, when, how to seek antiviral treatment for COVID

Antiviral medicine like Paxlovid can help prevent severe illness and hospitalization from COVID.

Not everyone needs it. Those who do should act quickly, even if they don’t feel very sick at first: Treatment must be started within the first five days of symptoms to be effective.

People over 65 and those with certain risk factors should seek antiviral treatment as soon as they know they have COVID.

Read full details on our News page.

When should I get tested for COVID?

Updated May 16, 2023

Testing is an important tool to prevent the spread of COVID. The two most important times to test are after you may have been exposed to the virus, or before you spend time with medically vulnerable people (like grandparents).

Some COVID-19 symptoms can seem like a cold, flu or even allergies. Don’t dismiss them. If you're experiencing any COVID symptom, whether vaccinated or not, you should get tested.

No symptoms? Get tested when you:

  • Have close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID
  • Have an immunocompromising condition (even if fully vaccinated)
  • Plan to spend time with medically vulnerable people 
  • Are traveling (coming + going)
  • Attended a high-risk event (sporting event, concert, large indoor gathering)
  • Were asked to, by a health care provider or health department
  • Think or worry that you might have COVID

DON’T go to the Emergency Department for a COVID test unless you have severe symptoms.

How to test: Testing in a clinic, pharmacy or community center usually uses a PCR test, the most accurate method to detect any amount of COVID virus. A nasal swab, throat swab or saliva sample are processed in a lab. Results are back in about 72 hours, depending on how busy the lab is. Employers or schools may require a negative PCR test before you can return.

Rapid testing and at-home kits use antigen tests to tell if you’re infectious and prevent you from unknowingly spreading virus to others. Antigen tests are less accurate than PCR tests – yet accurate enough to show if you’re infectious, so you can take precautions right away. Believe a positive test, but be wary of a negative test being false. If it’s positive, quarantine – and confirm with a PCR test or second rapid test from a different brand. If it’s negative but you have symptoms, been in a high-risk situation or had a known exposure, follow up with a PCR test. 

While waiting for results:

  • Stay away from others if you have any symptoms, even if you’re vaccinated. (If no symptoms and vaccinated, and you haven’t been exposed to someone with COVID, it’s OK to be with others.)
  • Wear a mask indoors when not at home.
  • Make a plan in case you test positive. You’ll have to isolate for at least 10 days, even if you don’t feel sick.
  • Tell people you’ve been near that you may have COVID. If they’re not fully vaccinated, they should stay away from others until they hear from you.

NH+C offers COVID testing by appointment; please call your clinic to schedule. On weekends, Urgent Care offers testing; please call ahead.

If your test is positive, you should quarantine for at least 5 days and monitor for symptoms. Do not travel. If you develop symptoms, isolate until your symptoms are better: at least 5 days from when symptoms began, and fever-free for 24 hours. See CDC's website for the most recent recommendations.

Treating Yourself at Home

Many cases of COVID-19 are not severe. You can treat yourself at home.

  • Individuals with undiagnosed fever, cough, shortness of breath should ALL self-quarantine.
  • Stay away from others: Anyone with symptoms should isolate themselves from household members and intimate contacts
  • Household members and intimate contacts should limit their own contact with others, and monitor for symptoms
  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Sleep
  • Take medicine to reduce fever