UP Health System to resume time-sensitive, non-urgent surgeries, procedures

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - UP Health System - Bell, Marquette and Portage announced Thursday that it will resume some time-sensitive, non-urgent surgeries and procedures that were previously rescheduled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

UPHS says it is taking the appropriate steps to safely resume these procedures.

UPHS says the decision to reschedule procedures when clinically appropriate was made in accordance with federal and state guidance and aimed to help preserve critical resources in the event of a surge of COVID-19 patients in the community.

UPHS says current projections indicate a lower than expected volume of COVID-19 in the region, which means less strain on healthcare resources.

“Resuming these important services is an essential component of meeting our community’s health needs and advancing our mission of Making Communities Healthier,” said Gar Atchison, Chief Executive Officer of UP Health System - Marquette, in a press release. “As this work gradually gets underway in our hospital again, we remain committed to conserving critical supplies, being vigilant in our fight against COVID-19, and ensuring that our facility is a safe place for all patients, providers, and employees.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, UP Health System says it has continued to carefully follow guidance from federal, state, and local officials, monitor the prevalence of the virus in the community and evaluate supplies and resources – including personal protective equipment like masks, gowns, gloves, and goggles.

The decisions about which procedures can safely move forward will be made only after assessing a comprehensive pre-operative checklist and evaluating potential risks. The hospital will initially focus on scheduling patients with more time-sensitive health needs, and those decisions will be made in partnership with the attending physician/surgeon/proceduralist. Patients who are scheduled and approved for procedures must meet specific requirements, including passing standard COVID-19 screenings. Surgical patients also will be asked to practice “safer at home” behaviors for seven days prior to their procedure to minimize potential exposure; check their temperature twice a day during this 7-day period and report temperatures over 100°F to their provider; and undergo testing for COVID-19.

Patients awaiting information about their previously postponed procedure can expect to hear from their provider or provider’s office to discuss rescheduling at the appropriate time.

UP Health System says it will continue to screen and mask everyone who enters the facility and maintain a zero-visitor protocol for the foreseeable future. These important measures have had a positive impact on ensuring a safe environment, and they also are aligned with the federal government’s guidelines. Additionally, each facility has implemented new processes and procedures to further protect the health of patients, providers, and employees. Visit the Bell, Marquette or Portage website to learn more about each hospital's preparedness information.

As a reminder, if you are having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or go directly to the Emergency Room. If possible, tell the dispatch agent if your emergency involves symptoms possibly related to COVID-19.

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