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St. Peter's Health begins gradual COVID-19 reopening on May 4

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Posted at 5:57 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 19:57:08-04

HELENA — On Monday May 4, St. Peter’s Health will begin to gradually reopen services that were canceled due to COVID-19.

In the coming weeks, St. Peter’s will have a phased reintroduction of elective surgeries and procedures, diagnostic imaging studies, physical therapy and in-person clinic visits.

Vice President of Operations Brian Lee told MTN patients that had a procedure cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions should expect to hear something from their doctor for rescheduling.

“We’re following a fairly conservative approach as we get these surgeries scheduled again,” said Lee. “It may take some time to work through all of the patients who have had those surgeries postponed, but certainly they should expect to hear from their surgeon's office and we would encourage them to reach out if they don’t.”

Visitor restrictions will remain in place until further notice for the safety of patients and staff. Individuals that require medical treatment may be screened, and are asked to continue to follow social distancing guidelines and wear a mask.

Non-emergency patients may be asked to wait in their vehicles until staff are ready for them in order to limit the number of people in the waiting room.

Providers will also continue to see patients virtually through telehealth as an alternative to in-person visits.

“There is a delicate balance between having restrictions in place that limit the spread of the virus but also discourage patients with serious or chronic issues from seeking the care necessary to manage their condition,” said St. Peter’s Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shelly Harkins. “Our focus is on positively impacting the overall health and wellness of everyone in our community, and we are taking all of these things into account as we transition operations into our new normal.”

Some people may have been avoiding medical treatment for serious, chronic medical conditions or even life-threatening issues out of a fear of exposure to COVID-19.

St. Peter’s Health wants the public to know they’ve maintained a high level of vigilance in regards to the virus and keeping staff and patients safe.

The hospital will continue drive-up COVID-19 testing at tents located in the parking lot behind the Medical Group building.

St. Peter’s Health is also directing people with respiratory symptoms to seek care at the urgent care inside the Regional Medical Center. Those without respiratory symptoms will be directed to the North Clinic Urgent Care.

The St. Peter’s Health COVID-19 Call Center will continue to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 406-457-4180.

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