OSF St. Francis Hospitals Announces Service Changes

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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) — From drive-thru COVID testing to emergency room visits, OSF St. Francis Hospital is taking precautions to keep you safe.

“We have more demand than supply, whatever it is. If a hospital bed is an offer, we’re running out. We’re packed right now,” said Dr. Bill Hook, director of medical services at OSF St. Francis Hospital.

To conserve testing supplies, you must be symptomatic to receive a COVID test. The hospital asks you not to go to the emergency room to be tested.

“We really need to have access for people who really need it. If they have shortness of breath, chest pain, or just absolute issues with COVID. Unfortunately, sore throats would probably end up being classified as a very low priority in the emergency room,” Dr. Hook said.

If you are admitted to hospital, visitors are still restricted. Only one support person is allowed. This includes parents and people who help make medical decisions.

Since the start of the pandemic, OSF has been the only site in Delta County to offer monoclonal antibodies as a treatment for COVID-19.

The medicine has changed with the variants and the new monoclonal antibody treatment for omicron is available, but not for everyone.

“But it’s so rare that we will continue to have to make important triage decisions about who gets this drug,” Dr. Hook said.

Antiviral pills are also available by prescription only. The hospital is still encouraging everyone to get vaccinated or boosted to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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