Essentia Health will take more precautions to curb the spread of COVID-19 to protect its patients and the communities it serves.

Clinic patients in the Brainerd lakes area are asked by the health care provider to attend appointments alone as of Wednesday, Oct. 20.

One additional person is allowed with children, obstetric patients and patients who require assistance. Anyone with a patient is required to be healthy and at least 18 years of age.

It is recommended children do not accompany adults to clinic appointments; however, Essentia Health officials recognize that is not always possible.

This change announced Tuesday will impact Essentia Health clinics in Baxter, Brainerd, Crosslake, Emily, Hackensack, Pequot Lakes, Pierz, Pillager and Pine River.