STEVENS POINT — Ascension Medical Group Wisconsin has launched respiratory care sites dedicated to care for COVID-19 suspect or confirmed patients, to offer care for patients with acute respiratory illnesses a controlled, and safe care environment to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

“The goal of these respiratory care locations is to treat those who need immediate care for coughs, sore throats and other respiratory infections but are neither critically ill nor need to be seen in the emergency department,” said Stewart Watson, M.D., North Region Vice President of Clinical Services, Ascension Medical Group Wisconsin, in a news release. “Clinicians and associates at these locations are specially trained in use of personal protective equipment and disinfection that will take place during and between each patient visit.”

In Stevens Point, a respiratory care site has been established at Ascension St. Michael’s – Hoover Road, 3500 Hoover Road. Hours of operation will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on weekends. Ascension Medical Group’s drive-through testing for COVID-19 will also be offered in conjunction with the dedicated respiratory services at this location.

Patients seeking care will need to undergo a respiratory illness screening process before visiting or gaining entry to a respiratory care site, to ensure they receive the appropriate level of care.

“People with shortness of breath or chest pain, should still seek care at an emergency department,” Watson said.

Patients in the Stevens Point Area can be screened for respiratory illness care by a registered nurse by calling 715-346-0250, or by contacting their local Ascension Medical Group provider office, or via Ascension Online Care (ascension.org/OnlineCare).

Respiratory Care services offered on site include an in-person full evaluation of acute respiratory concerns, specimen collection for influenza, COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) with X-ray services available as needed. Adult and pediatric patients will have the ability to be seen at this dedicated respiratory care site.

“Patients who need to be seen will be given directions to our respiratory care site where they can be safely evaluated and treated, including imaging and lab where appropriate,” Watson said in the release. “Patients who do not need to be cared for in person will receive directions to a drive-thru testing location if needed along with a stay at home recommendation with a care management plan that may include a regular touch base with their provider via Ascension Online Care or phone call.”

To accommodate the respiratory care site at Hoover Road, Ascension Medical Group will move some non-respiratory related appointments to the Illinois Avenue, Stanley Street, Plover, Waupaca, Amherst and Iola clinics. Affected patients will be contacted about any appointment changes.

Healthy patients who need follow-up for issues like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, heart failure and asthma should contact their primary care provider.

People seeking urgent care for non-respiratory issues are asked to use the Plover Urgent Care location at 2401 Plover Road.

Ascension Wisconsin has established a dedicated telephone resource for COVID-19 questions. This can be accessed 24/7 by calling 833-981-0711. Direct access to COVID-19 online information from Ascension can be found here: healthcare.ascension.org/COVID-19. This online resource now includes a useful self assessment tool.

Photo courtesy Ascension.

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