WATCH: Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital nurses urge the community to take precautions

The Manistique hospital says it has reached capacity.
Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital nurses are pleading with residents to take immediate actions to...
Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital nurses are pleading with residents to take immediate actions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission.(SMH)
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 1:41 PM EST
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MANISTIQUE, Mich. (WLUC) - The following is a press release from Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital:

Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital is reaching out to community members to share an urgent message. Frontline workers are pleading with residents 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.

Within the week, we 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. 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.

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.

Your healthcare workers are urging you to do the following things as we care for your family members and friends.

· 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, 9:00-11:00 a.m. and 1:00-3:00 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 a 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.

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