OSF St. Francis Reminds Public of Strict COVID-19 Visitor Restrictions and Tools for Screening

3/19/2020 - Escanaba, Michigan

OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group is working around the clock to keep communities safe.  OSF HealthCare leaders are working with local and state public health agencies to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We are also collaborating with the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

To protect patients, Mission Partners (employees) and the community, and in compliance with Governor Whitmer’s executive order No. 2020-7, strict visitor restrictions and Mission Partner screenings have been implemented at OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group.

Patients, visitors, vendors and Mission Partners will have a new process to follow as they approach entrances to OSF HealthCare facilities, including the hospital, medical office building, emergency department and all offsite clinics.  Upon entry, staff will ask individuals a series of questions to screen each person for symptoms or respiratory infection, travel history and contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19. All individuals will be asked to disclose their reason for attempting to enter the facility.  Patients and vendors who clear the screening may continue to their destinations for medical care or to conduct necessary business. 

Visitors or patients’ companions who pass the screening and meet the criteria defined in Governor Whitmer’s executive order No. 2020-7 will be allowed to accompany patients.

The following criteria must be met to be considered to be a visitor at an OSF facility:

  • Visitors necessary for the provision of medical care for a patient

  • Visitors who support activities of daily living for a patient

  • Visitors who must exercise power of attorney or court-appointed guardianship for a patient

  • Parents, foster parents or guardians of patients who are 21 years of age or under

  • Visitors to a patient who is in serious or critical condition or in hospice care

  • Those who are visiting under exigent (urgent) circumstances

  • Visitors performing official governmental functions

OSF HealthCare officials understand that some of the restrictions may be an inconvenience to patients and visitors. However, these steps are necessary to minimize risk of exposure and to keep the community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another way that OSF HealthCare is keeping communities safe is by providing digital options to share information, education and provide screening for COVID-19 risk. The following tools are available to limit exposure, and are also proving to be very convenient for the communities OSF HealthCare serves, and beyond. 

  • Clare, the digital option for information and triage. Clare, the digital assistant chatbot on the home page of OSF HealthCare, is now equipped to screen for and educate the public about COVID-19.

  • OSF COVID Companion. This FREE texting tool is designed to be used by anyone – healthy or sick, even if they aren’t OSF patients. OSF COVID Companion provides guidance about COVID-19 through trusted sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. To sign up, text OSF to 67634.



Lindsey Stearns
Community Relations Specialist
(906) 786-5707 x5508