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Pandemic causes St. Mary's to postpone some procedures

by News Tribune Staff | January 13, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital in Jefferson City is shown in this Jan. 23, 2017, photo.

SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital is postponing some non-urgent procedures and surgeries because of the pandemic, according to an email the Jefferson City hospital sent to clients Wednesday.

The decision to postpone procedures comes as "nurses, staff and facilities are stretched to the limit," according to the email. "Your physician's office will be in touch with you if your procedure is affected," it said.

The hospital continues to limit inpatients to one designated visitor per day, with the exception of pediatrics (who are allowed two support visitors per day) and Blessed Beginnings Family Birth Center (who also receive two designated visitors for the duration of their stay).

"It is safe to come to our clinics for care," the email said. "We are following all infection prevention protocols in our primary care and specialty care offices. Please wear a mask when visiting any of our clinics and practice social distancing from other patients in our waiting areas."

Patients may experience longer hold times than normal if trying to reach providers by phone, the email said. It suggests signing up for MyChart, the hospital patient portal, is a great way to communicate with providers' offices and receive important information about patients' health.

"Due to high volumes, our appointment access in some practices is limited," the email said. "If you have a scheduled appointment and can no longer keep that appointment, please notify the practice by phone or MyChart."

Anyone who needs a COVID-19 test, but is not experiencing symptoms, is asked to not visit the hospital emergency room. Instead, go to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website for a list of asymptomatic testing locations in the community, or to order a test to be shipped to your home.

People experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms who are seeking medical attention are asked to schedule an appointment with their primary care provider or to complete a virtual visit.

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