To help minimize the impact of COVID-19, in-person visitation will be
temporarily stopped at all four Ascension Wisconsin hospitals in the
Northwoods beginning Sept. 29, Ascension announced today.

This affects Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander, Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital in Tomahawk, Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff and Ascension Eagle River Hospital in Eagle River.

Ascension Wisconsin encourages family members and friends of patients to stay connected with their loved ones through virtual visitation – calling, video chatting or texting. The goal is to protect associates and clients by limiting possible exposure to COVID-19, Ascension said in a news release.

There will be some exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Predefined exceptions include:

Pediatric patients: Visitation is limited to both parents/legal guardians (maximum two)

Women giving birth: Limited to one birthing partner

Patients undergoing surgery: Limited to one visitor in the pre-operative period until time of surgery

End-of-life care: As determined by the hospital care team

The updated restricted visitation policy at the four Northwoods hospitals also includes the following:

All visitors, associates, clinicians and vendors entering Ascension Wisconsin facilities will be screened for flu-like and COVID-19 symptoms including, but not limited to, fever, cough, runny nose/nasal congestion, sore throat and/or new loss of taste or smell.

No visitors who screen positive for the above symptoms will be permitted into the facility.

Visitors entering for the above exceptions will be required to wear a mask upon entry and for the duration of the visit.

Visitors younger than 18 will not be permitted.

“We appreciate the community’s support in adhering to these guidelines, as we continue to care for our neighbors who are most in need during these unprecedented times,” said Laurie Oungst, chief administrative officer for Ascension Wisconsin’s facilities in the Northwoods, in the release. “We feel these steps are necessary given the continued high and increasing positivity rate of COVID-19 cases in the region.”

For additional information on COVID-19 and Ascension resources, visit or call the dedicated Ascension Wisconsin COVID-19 informational hotline at 833-981-0711.