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Hospital reminds of visitor restrictions

ESCANABA — OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group reminds residents that strict visitor restrictions and employee screenings have been implemented.

Patients, visitors, vendors and employees will have a new process to follow as they approach entrances to OSF HealthCare facilities, including the hospital, medical office building, emergency department and all offsite clinics. Upon entry, staff will ask individuals a series of questions to screen each person for symptoms or respiratory infection, travel history and contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19. All individuals will be asked to disclose their reason for attempting to enter the facility. Patients and vendors who clear the screening may continue to their destinations for medical care or to conduct necessary business.

Visitors or patients’ companions who pass the screening and meet the criteria defined in Governor Whitmer’s executive order No. 2020-7 will be allowed to accompany patients.

The following criteria must be met to be considered to be a visitor at an OSF facility:

– Visitors necessary for the provision of medical care for a patient

– Visitors who support activities of daily living for a patient

– Visitors who must exercise power of attorney or court-appointed guardianship for a patient

– Parents, foster parents or guardians of patients who are 21 years of age or under

– Visitors to a patient who is in serious or critical condition or in hospice care

– Those who are visiting under urgent circumstances

– Visitors performing official governmental functions

“OSF HealthCare officials understand that some of the restrictions may be an inconvenience to patients and visitors. However, these steps are necessary to minimize risk of exposure and to keep the community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the hospital stated in a press release.

Another way that OSF HealthCare is keeping communities safe is by providing digital options to share information, education and provide screening for COVID-19 risk. The following tools are available to limit exposure.

– Clare, the digital option for information and triage. Clare, the digital assistant chatbot on the home page of OSF HealthCare, is now equipped to screen for and educate the public about COVID-19.

– OSF COVID Companion. This free texting tool is designed to be used by anyone – healthy or sick, even if they aren’t OSF patients. – – OSF COVID Companion provides guidance about COVID-19 through trusted sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. To sign up, text OSF to 67634.

– COVID-19 Nurse Hotline: (833) OSF-KNOW (833-673-5669). OSF HealthCare has also created the COVID-19 Nurse Hotline for COVID-19 information and guidance. This triage line is staffed 24/7 by health care professionals who have been specifically trained to address COVID-19 concerns.

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