St. Francis Medical Center will pause all new, non-urgent surgical procedures

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MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The St. Francis Medical Center has announced they will not be scheduling any new, non-urgent surgeries.

According to the medical center, starting on Saturday, July 31, 2021 they will pause scheduling new, non-urgent surgical procedures that will require an inpatient bed for the next two weeks. St. Francis Medical Center says this pause comes as COVID numbers continue to climb.

The medical center says those procedures that do not require an impatient bed or an overnight stay at the hospital will still go on as scheduled.

“St. Francis Medical Center is currently experiencing high volumes of COVID and non-COVID patients. Our inpatient facility is quickly reaching capacity,” said Kristin Wolkart, President at St. Francis Medical Center. “We made this decision to make additional beds and staff available. Previously scheduled procedures will proceed. We will continue to schedule outpatient and new urgent surgical procedures.”

“We encourage patients to maintain any outpatient procedures or visits that are needed as those are not being interrupted,” Wolkart continued. “Delaying or avoiding needed care may result in negative health impacts. Please do not ignore any signs or symptoms which may indicate emergency care is needed.”

St. Francis Medical Center says they have admitted 11 new COVID-19 patients in the last 48 hours. They say they have 40 COVID-19 patients in their care and 30% of those are in the ICU. The hospital says on June 30, 2021, there were a total of 10 COVID-19 patients in their care.

The hospital says the number of patients visiting the ER has increased 43% over the past week. St. Francis says they are offering an outpatient Regeneron Infusion Clinic for patients with COVID-19 who do not need to be hospitalized. Over 360 doses of Regeneron have been administered over the past two weeks.

According to the hospital, if you or someone you know has minor symptoms – ear pain, tooth pain, rash without swelling, a sore throat without a fever, or just needs a medication refill – they can schedule a video visit by calling a St. Francis Medical Group provider or visiting stfran.com.

The hospital says the emergency room should be utilized for severe symptoms or life-threatening emergencies. If unsure whether symptoms qualify as minor or severe, please call your primary care provider.

In an emergency, always dial 911.

The St. Francis Vaccine Clinic, located at St. Francis Community Health Center at 2600 Tower Drive, Suite 204 in Monroe, is accepting appointments and walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Their hours are Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. and Friday, 8:30 a.m. – noon. Visit stfran.com for more information.

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