New visitor restrictions, COVID-19 testing to begin at Franciscan Health Michigan City

An update to the news release below: The COVID-19 testing facility is now up and running at our Franciscan Health Michigan City hospital and has already tested its first patient this morning. The testing station is located at a trailer on the far east side of the hospital’s main parking lot and is identified with signage. Once again, I want to emphasize that patients MUST have a doctor’s order to obtain a test and must pre-register by calling (219) 877-1474 prior to arrival.

MICHIGAN CITY | In an effort to minimize the spread of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus, Franciscan Health Michigan City has instituted new visitor restrictions and outpatient testing procedures.

Beginning Monday, March 16, no visitation will be allowed at Franciscan Health Michigan City, 3500 Franciscan Way, with certain exceptions. One visitor for patients in each of these departments will be allowed:

  • * Pediatrics
  • * Family Birth Center
  • * Intensive Care Unit
  • * Emergency Department

A visitor badge is required and must be obtained at the front desk. All visitors will be screened for signs of illness before receiving a badge. Persons in any of the following categories will not be allowed to visit:

  • * Traveled to China, Japan, Iran, South Korea, Italy or have been on a cruise ship in the last 14 days.
  • * Have had contact with or have someone in their home who had contact with a person with a confirmed or highly suspected case of COVID-19.
  • * Under the age of 18.
  • * Have symptoms of a respiratory infection such as cough or shortness of breath.
  • * Have a fever or signs of a fever (chills) in the past 24 hours, or have temperature of 100 or greater.

Other changes for visitors include the suspension of valet parking until further notice. Public Mass in the hospital’s chapel will be suspended, though Mass will continue to be offered to patients via video in their rooms. The Dunes Café will be closed to the general public. However, packaged grab-and-go meals will be offered for sale to patient visitors.

Later this week, Franciscan Health Michigan City will also begin offering outpatient testing for COVID-19 from 10AM to 6PM, Monday through Friday. A physician’s order and pre-registration is required to be tested. Patients should call (219) 877-1474 prior to arrival to pre-register. The testing trailer will be located on the far east side of the hospital’s main parking lot and will be identified with a large banner. We are still preparing our site for testing and will notify the public when it is available.

To minimize unnecessary exposure, testing will be completed in the patient’s car. Patients should not enter the Emergency Department for testing. After testing, unless exhibiting acute symptoms that require hospitalization, patients will be sent home to treat their symptoms. The patient’s physician will notify them with test results within three to four days. COVID-19 is a viral illness, and treatment is rest, drinking fluids and medication that reduces fever.  You can protect yourself from transmission of the virus by washing your hands often, avoiding close contact with others, staying home if sick, covering coughs and sneezes and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily.

For those seeking information, we request that they not call the Emergency Department, since it takes resources away from treating our patients. For frequently asked questions about coronavirus, you can call this hotline: (219) 879-8511, prompt #8. This is not a medical screening hotline, it’s general information only.

Those with general questions about coronavirus can also find resources online, which are updated regularly, including: