ST. CLOUD -- It's business as usual for the Birth Center at the St. Cloud Hospital, as families continue to welcome new babies despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

OB/GYN Hospitalist Stacia Anderson says while this can be a tense time for expecting mothers, staff continue to take all precautions to provide a safe environment for the babies arrival.

For all of us it's the anticipation of the unknown. As a hospital we are working very hard to keep it business as normal. Having a baby is an exciting and happy event and it's an experience we want families to enjoy in a positive way.

CentraCare continues to follow new protocols such as checking temperatures of all staff and patients prior to entering the facility and limiting the amount of visitors.

Anderson says they have not any COVID-19 related cases on the delivery unit, but are preparing for when the time comes.

She says to their knowledge, COVID-19 can not be passed to the baby during labor.

To this point we believe there is no vertical transmission, the virus doesn't cross the placenta. There is more of a concern post delivery. There could be more of a horizontal transmission, where mom could spread it to baby by holding the baby.

Anderson says they continue to get questions from expecting mothers on what they can do to remain healthy during this time. She says they recommend the same best practices such as social distancing and good hand hygiene.

On average, St. Cloud hospital delivers about 2,900 babies a year, which averages to about 8-9 babies a day.

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