Cold and flu season is underway and it brings with it, an increased volume of patients in need of care at OSF HealthCare Holy Family Medical Center in Monmouth, OSF HealthCare Saint Luke Medical Center in Kewanee and at OSF HealthCare St. Mary Medical Center in Galesburg.
“We absolutely want you to come to the emergency department if you feel you are experiencing a health emergency. We know patients with chronic diseases, children and the elderly who have weakened immune systems are at high risk and can need immediate care,” according to Frank Lung, OSF Holy Family Medical Center director of Emergency Services. “But if your symptoms are less severe such as a cough, body aches and fever, we have several options for your care,” he suggested.
To ease wait times, OSF HealthCare recommends patients consider the appropriate option to receive medical care. Here is what we recommend:
Calling your primary care doctor or advanced practice provider is a good first step if you feel ill. In some locations, same day appointments are available.
- OSF HealthCare offers several options after regular office hours.
- OSF OnCall is virtual urgent care that is available 24/7 from your computer or phone;
- OSF PromptCare in Galesburg is also open Monday – Saturday from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. For your convenience, it offers an online option to reserve a spot in line.
OSF OnCall Urgent Care offers virtual and in-person clinics. Virtual appointments are available 24/7 from your computer or phone. In-person clinics are open 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily and offer online scheduling. Locations are available in Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, Champaign, Morris and Ottawa.
- Emergency Departments are available 24/7 at all locations.
- If you have a child under the age of 18, OSFf HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois now offers a 24/7 pediatric emergency room located next to the emergency room at OSF Saint Francis in Peoria.
In addition, here are additional suggestions to stop the spread of germs and help you stay healthy:
- If you feel sick or have a fever, stay home. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of water and take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for aches, pains and fever.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow to avoid getting germs on your hands and spreading them to others.
If you haven’t received a flu shot this season, it’s not too late. The CDC recommends everyone six months and older be vaccinated. It takes approximately two weeks for the flu shot to become fully effective.