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Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital at capacity, asks public’s help to reduce COVID-19 transmission

Courtesy photo Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital workers are shown. The hospital is urging the community to take precautions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission. Schoolcraft County is experiencing its largest wave of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and, as a result, Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital has reached capacity.

MANISTIQUE — Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital is reaching out to community members to take immediate actions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission. Schoolcraft County is experiencing its largest wave of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and, as a result, Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital has reached capacity.

“Our medical-surgical floor is now full, and we will be resorting to surge plans. Schoolcraft County is currently under a locally declared state of emergency, put in place by its county commissioners,” hospital officials said.

Within the week, the may need to cancel surgeries, reschedule elective procedures, and shift staff to different areas of the hospital to handle the influx in COVID-19 patients and other patients requiring intensive care, according to a press release.

“Sadly, many other hospitals in the Upper Peninsula, Lower Michigan and Wisconsin are facing the same surge. We have been unable to transfer patients to larger health systems such as Marquette, Petoskey, and Green Bay. Staffing continues to be a significant problem across hospitals and ambulance services. These necessary staffing changes may lead to longer wait times in the Emergency Room, drive through testing and RediCare Clinic. This poses great concern for patients requiring transfer to other facilities for Intensive Care Units (ICU), accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other emergencies,” hospital officials said.

“We are doing our best to keep up with the demand, but we need the community to work together to help us. Every person can make decisions that help to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our health systems are overwhelmed across the State of Michigan. 

Healthcare workers are urging the public to do the following things:

– Get vaccinated to prevent severe illness and hospitalization. Vaccines are now available for individuals ages 5 years and older. 

– Get your booster vaccine if you are eligible

– Avoid using the Emergency Room (ER) for non-emergent concerns. Help keep our ER available for true emergencies. Please obtain routine covid testing through our drive through, and contact your primary care physician to obtain an order for monoclonal antibody treatment

– Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 during our drive through hours on Southtown Drive (Monday – Friday (9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.)

– Get tested if you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 3-5 days after exposure

– If you test positive for COVID-19 or have a known high-risk exposure, talk to your doctor about Monoclonal Antibody therapy as treatment to prevent hospitalization

– Follow all quarantine and isolation advice from our local health department

– Send your children to school with masks

– Wear masks in all indoor settings where you are gathered with members from outside of your household regardless of vaccination status

– Avoid travel if possible

– Wash your hands and sanitize regularly

“The employees at Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital have worked tirelessly to give our patients the best possible care through the pandemic. Our teams are exhausted, they are frustrated, and they need your support. Do the small things that make a difference. Our healthcare heroes are relying on you to take the pandemic seriously,” hospital officials said.

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