COVID – 19 Update

At River’s Edge Hospital, the care and health of our employees, patients and their families is our highest priority at all times. We understand you may have questions regarding the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) and the prevention and preparedness steps that we are taking.

September 29, 2022

River’s Edge Hospital suspends mandatory Universal Masking

On Friday, September 23, the Centers for Disease Control issued updated COVID-19 guidance for health care providers.  The updates included changes to infection control, potential exposures at work, and mitigating staff shortages.

Following a review of the guidance that states that when community transmission levels of COVID-19 are not high, healthcare facilities can choose to not require universal masking in the facility.   On September 29, 2022, Paula Meskan, CEO, announced that masks are no longer required for employees, patients, and visitors.

“I am pleased with the recent guidance from the CDC.  People have grown weary of masking.  It has been 1,001 days since we began masking at River’s Edge,” said Paula Meskan, CEO, and while we have been successful with having zero incidents of transmission of Covid within the hospital during that time, it will be good for the morale of the staff as well as patients and visitors to be able to see the faces of the people they interact with.  We know that Covid has not disappeared, but I am thankful that we are able to finally make some movement toward normal — whatever that may be – and to some of the things we were able to do prior to the start of the pandemic.”

Patients who are coming to River’s Edge Hospital with respiratory symptoms will be asked to wear a mask.  More information is listed here:

Masking is still recommended by CDC for individuals in healthcare settings who:

  • Have suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection or other respiratory infection (e.g., those with runny nose, cough, or sneeze) or
  • Had close contact (patients and visitors) or a higher risk exposure (HCP) with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection for 10 days after their exposure or
  • Resident or work on a unit or area of the facility experiencing a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak; universal use of source control could be discontinued as a mitigation measure once no new cases have been identified for 14 days; or
  • Have otherwise had a source control recommended by public health authorities

In addition to those recommendations/guideline changes River’s Edge is also requiring the following:

  • Masks be worn if you are recovering from COVID through day 10 – example: COVID positive on 10/1/2022 – return to work on 10/7/2022 (day 6) MUST wear a mask until 10/12/022 (Day 11)
  • Healthcare workers who are unvaccinated for COVID – 19 and Influenza must wear a facemask with all direct patient care – when they cannot socially distance 6 feet.
  • Masking with any patient who is suspected, confirmed, or has a respiratory condition

NO homemade masks will be allowed. If you do not have a medical grade mask, please ask for one upon your arrival.

You may choose to wear a mask in the building based on your personal preference.  If you would like your provider to wear a mask while caring for you, do not hesitate to ask.


May 25, 2021

River’s Edge Hospital visitor limits expire May 28, 2021

When COVID-19 spread to Minnesota in March 2020 many restrictions were put into place in the state and at River’s Edge Hospital with the goal to keep our employees, patients and all who entered our building healthy and safe.   Closing the hospital to visitors was a difficult decision and we knew how much of an impact that had on our patients and their loved ones.

Earlier this month Governor Walz announced the further loosening of restrictions in Minnesota that included the expiration of the mask mandate, the limit of people allowed for outdoor gatherings, and capacity limits raised at bars and restaurants.

On May 28 all remaining capacity and distancing limits in the state will come to an end.   On that day, River’s Edge Hospital will also end the limit of one support person per guest and open to any visitor/support person for all our patient care areas.

We do recommend that there are no more than two (2) guests in patient rooms or exam rooms at one time.  All River’s Edge Hospital employees, providers, patients, visitors, and vendors are required  to be screened for COVID-19 before entering the building and wear a mask while inside the building regardless of vaccination status.  Healthcare facilities are not exempt from the expiration of the mask mandate and all PPE policies remain in place at River’s Edge Hospital.

All of us at River’s Edge Hospital are grateful for the appreciation, kindness and understanding shown to us during the past 15 months.  Our patients and visitors are like family and we thank you for choosing River’s Edge Hospital for your care.

March 1, 2021

One way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to get tested if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus.  The Minnesota Department of Health is recommending school aged kids get tested regularly for COVID-19.

According to a recent news release from MDH, “The recommendation is for all youth returning to school, youth sports, or extracurricular activities to get tested every two weeks through the end of the school year. While it is not a requirement, health officials say regular testing complements other safety measures already in place, such as masking and social distancing.”

There are several local testing locations that provide testing for asymptomatic individuals.  The locations listed below do require an appointment and/or pre-registration.

In St. Peter:

Hy-Vee Pharmacy

1002 Old Minnesota Avenue

Testing hours:
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. make an appointment

In Mankato:

Hy-Vee Pharmacy

2010 Adams (Hilltop Location)

Tuesday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 9 a.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

to make an appointment

*This Hy-Vee location also provides rapid antigen testing, available Monday- Friday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Make an appointment at the website above.


MDH Testing Site

Mankato – Former Gander Mountain Location (Near Hy-Vee Hilltop)

Monday, Tuesday, Friday – 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

January 27, 2021

River’s Edge Hospital announces loosening of visitor restrictions

 ST. PETER, MN— On Monday, February 1, 2021, patients coming to River’s Edge Hospital for care will be allowed to have one support person with them during their visit.

River’s Edge Hospital stopped allowing visitors in the facility April 1, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to limit patient and staff exposure to the virus.

We have been looking at the number of COVID-19 cases in our service area closely since we started to restrict visitors last April,” said Janelle Rauchman, Chief Quality Officer and Infection Preventionist.  “The numbers are coming down and we feel we can safely allow a support person with our patients.”

Patients and their support person will be screened for COVID-19 upon arrival and visitors are required to wear a mask while in the building.

Questions regarding the change in the visitor policy can be directed to Janelle Rauchman, Chief Quality Officer at 507-934-7642


December 9, 2020

There is hope

We, meaning all of us, are exhausted.  In March when Covid-19 appeared in Minnesota it was difficult to imagine the virus would take this course, affecting so many people.  We did not picture ourselves spending the holidays with our families via Zoom.

Just in time for Christmas there is hope.  This week the governor announced the state’s vaccine phased distribution plan and Minnesota’s healthcare workers and long term care residents could start receiving the vaccine later this month.

There are many questions surrounding the safety and efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine.  The name of the vaccine development program, “Operation Warp Speed,” does not mean the development of the vaccine by any of the pharmaceutical companies was done in haste.  The vaccines went through the same rigorous clinical trials that all vaccines go through and have met all of the strict safety standards.  The first two vaccines to be distributed from Pfizer and Moderna have an efficacy of 95 percent.

Once the vaccine is available in Minnesota, it is known that there will not be enough to meet the demand for the first phase.  Meeting the needs of everyone who wants the vaccine will take some time and it is important to be patient, continue to wear a mask, use proper hand hygiene, physical distance from others, and get tested if you have been exposed to someone with Covid-19 or are feeling ill.

The Minnesota Department of Health has more information on the vaccine and distribution available at

There is hope.  Be patient.

UPDATED: JULY 22, 2020

Communities are passing mask mandates and the Governor is expected to make an announcement on a state mask mandate soon. If a statewide mandate is put into place, we will see more and more people masking up. There are right ways and wrong ways on proper use of facemasks. Watch this 1 minute video to see proper technique for masks.


UPDATED: JUNE 10, 2020

Live Well Fitness will be re-opening on June 15 with limited hours. We are looking forward to welcoming you back to the gym.

Opening June 15. Hours: Monday 6am to 8am and 1pm to 5pm. Tuesday 6am to 5pm. Wednesday 6am to 8am and 1pm to5:45pm. Thursday 6am to 5pm. Friday 6am to 8am. Saturday and Sunday: closed.

Now that more people are wearing masks in public, it is important to know the proper way to wear face masks. Some may place the face mask under the nose to help them breathe better or prevent eye wear from fogging up. Face masks should cover the nose and mouth to be the most effective. To learn more about the proper wearing of a face mask, check out this video from the MN Department of Health.


The St .Peter Police Department, Nicollet County Sheriff’s Department, St. Peter Fire Department, North Mankato Police Department, North Mankato Fire Department, River’s Edge Hospital and Allina EMS, Minnesota State Patrol and Freedom Homecare honored healthcare workers in St. Peter on Thursday, May 13 in recognition of National Hospital Week and National Skilled Nursing Care Week.

On Friday, April 24, the Governor’s COVID-19 website added a screening tool to help Minnesotans determine if they should be tested for COVID-19. To access the resource, visit this link:

It is OK and SAFE for you to come to River’s Edge to seek medical care. If you are feeling sick, get injured, or are having symptoms of a stroke or heart attack, do not delay medical treatment because of COVID-19. River’s Edge Hospital’s Emergency Department and Urgent Care are open for you. We have increased our already high cleaning and disinfection protocols, along with making sure staff and patients are kept safe from any type of exposure to the virus.


River’s Edge Hospital Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Cardiac Rehabilitation resume outpatient care

Individuals needing in-person physical therapy, occupational therapy, or cardiac rehabilitation can start making appointments at River’s Edge Hospital starting immediately.

Last month, River’s Edge Hospital made the decision to temporarily suspend new outpatient appointments in the three departments listed.  During that time staff worked on a plan to ensure patient safety as it applies to social distancing and the number of patients allowed in the treatment areas at one time.

There is so much to know about COVID-19, how it’s spread, and how you can keep yourself and loved ones healthy. The video below has some great advice to help us all!



To our valued community members, patients, and guests

Last week a portion of our Emergency Department and Urgent Care was converted in preparation to care for patients coming to River’s Edge Hospital with COVID-19 symptoms.  For the safety of our staff, and to help preserve our personal protective equipment, the provider may not completely enter the exam room at the initial assessment of the patient.  If the condition is severe, then staff will be in the room, at the bedside providing the necessary care.  The link below is a copy of the letter that will be provided to patients upon arrival to the Emergency Department and Urgent Care.

Threshold Patient Letter

Also, effective immediately, the Direct Access Lab Testing services is suspended indefinitely.

We know these restrictions are difficult for patients and loved ones. These steps are necessary to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and to keep our staff and patients healthy.

If you are having a cough, shortness of breath, and fever, please call ahead of your arrival at 507-931-2200 so staff can prepare for your visit.



River’s Hospital tightens visitor restrictions

To our valued community members, patients, and guests,

To protect the health and safety of River’s Edge Hospital staff and patients in the Emergency Department, Urgent Care, and Hospital, patients will no longer be allowed to have visitors effective April 1, 2020.

Exceptions to the NO VISITOR policy include:
Pediatric patients are allowed one parent/guardian while in the building. Parents/guardians will not be allowed to switch places during the time of the visit.

In an end of life situation, exceptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Visitors who have been granted an exception will be screened prior to entry into the patient care areas.

Visitor restrictions will be in place for an undetermined amount of time. We encourage people to keep in touch with their loved ones via phone, email, or other devices.

We know these restrictions are difficult for patients and loved ones. These steps are necessary to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and to keep our staff and patients healthy.



If you are a patient coming to River’s Edge Hospital for your surgical,  physical therapy, occupational therapy, outpatient infusion therapy, lab, or imaging appointment, we are requesting you take your temperature the night before your appointment and morning of your appointment.  If you have a fever of 100or higher, please contact us at 507-931-2200 to reschedule your appointment.

Upon arrival for your appointment you will be asked the following screening questions about your current symptoms and if you have a fever.

  • Do you have a fever ?
  • Do you have any of the following?  Shortness of breath, lightheadedness, sore throat, or cough?
  • Have you had close contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19?


UPDATED: March 23, 2020

The Minnesota Department of Health believes that COVID-19 is spreading broadly across Minnesota. As testing capacity increases, we know that the number of confirmed cases in our area will increase. This is why we need to take seriously our role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

  • All Minnesotans are encouraged to limit time spent in locations that do not allow for social distancing of six feet per person.
  • By making health choices and practicing social distancing, we each can help break the chain of transmission.
  • Community mitigation efforts – including staying home – will buy hospitals time to prepare for a future surge of COVID-19 patients. Staying home will slow the spread of infection.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, you can call your primary care provider or River’s Edge Hospital at 507-931-2200 prior to your arrival. The staff will work with you to determine if you should be tested. Due to testing capacity limits, you may not be given a test.

As always, practice good hygiene habits to prevent illness.

  • Wash hands with soap and water.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough.


Q.  Can I visit my friend/family member at River’s Edge Hospital?

A.  For the safety of our patients and employees, we are CLOSING visitor hours for inpatients at River’s Edge Hospital. All patients –  inpatients, Emergency Department, Urgent Care, Physical and Occupational Therapy, Laboratory, Imaging, Outpatient Surgery,  Infusion Therapy, and Cardiac Rehab patients will be allowed ONE support person to be in the hospital room during this time.

If the support person has any respiratory symptoms, have traveled within the last 14 days to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent, or have had possible exposure to COVID-19, we ask that they refrain from visiting in the hospital. We would encourage family and friends to continue communicating with patients by video chat, phone, text and email.


Q.  What is River’s Edge Hospital doing to prepare for any incidence of Coronavirus/COVID-19?

COVID-19 Actions:

River’s Edge Hospital will not be doing routine screening or patient requested COVID-19 (the illness caused by coronavirus) test in its Urgent Care or Emergency Department.

We would ask that you call ahead so we can be prepared for you when you arrive. Please call 507-931-2200 for assistance.

  • River’s Edge Hospital has paused routine screening mammogram appointments until restrictions have lifted. Diagnostic appointments will continue.
  • Live Well Fitness Center is closed by order of the Governor. It will reopen when restrictions are lifted. Updates are posted on the Live Well Facebook page.
  • Starting this week, all staff, patients, visitors, providers, and vendors will be screened prior to entering the building.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness in people caused by a new virus. It can spread from person to person. Since this is a new virus, there are still things we do not know, but are learning more about COVID-19 each day. The Minnesota Department of Health and River’s Edge Hospital is taking this seriously and planning for cases.

Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 should stay home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.

You can call River’s Edge at 931-2200 if you need to seek medical care (see FAQ below).

The best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19 are to do the same things you do to protect yourself from colds and flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

We understand you may have questions regarding the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) and the prevention and preparedness steps that we are taking.


Q. What is River’s Edge Hospital doing to prepare for any incidence of Coronavirus/COVID-19?

A. River’s Edge Hospital has a long-standing history of managing health care concerns. At the present time we are actively following our established protocols for infection control, continually training on these protocols and staying nimble to adjust as needed should new prevention and containment measures be identified.

COVID-19 Actions:

  • We have a dedicated team of interdisciplinary experts including some with many years of experience in emergency management and response, infection control and prevention, as well as clinicians and other health care professionals.
  • We continue to monitor and follow the guidelines specific to COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and our local and state health agencies.
  • We have heightened our cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
  • We continue to actively monitor and report respiratory illnesses across our organization.
  • We have instituted monitoring of employees who have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent or have been in close contact with others who have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent.
  • We will be posting signs asking individuals who are sick, who have traveled within the last 14 days to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent, or who may have been in contact with someone that has been infected by or exposed to COVID-19, to refrain from visiting patients in the hospital.
  • We are asking all visitors to wash their hands.
  • We are sharing updated information on COVID-19 with our patients, families, and employees.
  • We have an emergency operation plan that will be put into place should we need to implement it.


Q. Should I call ahead if I feel like I need to be seen for my symptoms?

A. If you have a fever or cough AND have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent or have been in close contact with others who have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is prevalent within 14 days, we would ask that you call ahead so we can be prepared for you when you arrive. Please call 507-931-2200 for assistance.


Q. How will I know if there is an occurrence of COVID-19 at River’s Edge Hospital?

A. We are committed to communicating any incidence of the virus in our facility. We will notify our employees and volunteers. We will also be in close communication with our local and state health agencies. To protect the privacy of our patients, any public notification would come from state health agencies.


Q. Do you have adequate staff and equipment to care for patients if there is an outbreak for COVID-19?

A. At this time, we have the appropriate staffing and supplies to care for our patients and we have strategies in place should this become an issue of concern. We will ensure both adequate protective equipment and consistent care for our patients.


We encourage you to refer to trusted resources for the most recent official updates on COVID-19. Please feel free to reach out with any additional questions that you might have.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Minnesota Department of Health: