Ascension: COVID-19 Update

Homemade Masks-
Ascension Wisconsin is now accepting homemade masks of any pattern, and both ties or ear loops. If you are interested in donating handmade masks to any hospital or clinic within Ascension Wisconsin, please send an email to [email protected]. You will receive an email with requirements and drop off locations, along with our sincere gratitude for your support of the community.

Ascension Medical Group Launches Respiratory Care Site at Westwood Clinic-
Location will also add drive-through testing location to Wausau community
(Wausau, WI)- 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 to otherwise healthy patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Wausau, a Respiratory Care Site has been established at Ascension Medical Group – Westwood, located at 1901 Westwood Center Boulevard. Hours of operation will be 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday. Ascension Medical Group’s drive-through testing for COVID-19 will also be offered at this location from 8 a.m. – Noon.
“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. “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.”
* Patients seeking drive-through testing or respiratory care will need to undergo a screening process with an Ascension Medical Group provider to ensure they receive the appropriate level of care.
* Patients in the Wausau Area can be screened for respiratory illness care by a Registered Nurse by calling 715-355-9775, or by contacting their local Ascension Medical Group provider office, or via Ascension Online Care (
“People with shortness of breath or chest pain, should still seek care at an emergency department,” added Watson.
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.
“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.” added Watson. “Patients who do not need to be cared for in person will receive directions for drive-thru testing 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.”
Healthy patients who need follow-up for issues like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Heart Failure and Asthma should contact their primary care provider.

-Process for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Donations
• Ascension Wisconsin is now accepting donations for personal protective equipment (PPE).

The following drop off locations have been established in North Central Wisconsin:
Stevens Point Area: Ascension Medical Group – Hoover Avenue, Plover and Waupaca-Please place items in the dropoff receptacle located in the front vestibule.
• Weston/Wausau Area: Weston Abby Bank Location.
• Merrill Area: Ascension Medical Group – Merrill
• Rhinelander Area: Ascension Rehabilitation Services (Northwood’s YMCA). Please call 715.966.0375 to schedule an appointment for dropoff.
• Stanley Area: Ascension Medical Group – Thorp

Individuals or companies interested in making a donation should contact Ascension Wisconsin’s Foundation partners at [email protected] .
Once the donation is confirmed, arrangements will be made to pick up the donation and deliver it to the appropriate Ascension Wisconsin facility.
Supplies being requested for donation:
• Isolation Gowns, Earloop or Tie Masks
• N95 Respirators and Face Shields
• Hand Sanitizers
• Surface disinfectants
• Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR) or Controlled Air Purifying Respirators (CAPR)
• Other approved PPE supplies advised by the CDC
O• ther than the identified drop off locations. Please, do not drop-off PPE donations at Ascension Wisconsin facilities. The Ascension Wisconsin Foundation team will work directly with individuals and companies to assess each donation. Ascension Wisconsin is following the updated CDC guidelines regarding suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases and the use of PPE. The safety of our patients, associates and providers is our utmost priority as we all work to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and care for all those in need.

Ascension Wisconsin Implements Virtual Visitation

To help minimize the impact of COVID-19, we’re limiting visitors in our hospitals. As of March 21, 2020, in-person visitation has been temporarily stopped. We encourage family members and friends of patients in our care to stay connected with their loved ones by virtual visitation. Our goal is to protect our associates and those we are privileged to serve by limiting possible exposure to COVID-19 and directing people to the right level of care.
There will be some exceptions on a case-by-case basis, including labor and delivery, pediatrics, neonatal intensive care (NICU) and end-of-life care. Those seeking services at Emergency Departments, Urgent Care or Clinic sites are asked to limit companions as much as possible for the safety of our patients and associates.
We understand that during this time it is important to stay connected to loved ones and remain aware of their status while hospitalized. We encourage any potential visitors to use alternate methods of communication to stay in contact with loved ones, such as calling, video chatting, or texting.

The updated restricted visitation policy at Ascension Wisconsin also includes the following:
All visitors and vendors entering Ascension Wisconsin facilities will be screened for flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, runny nose/nasal congestion and or sore throat.
No visitors who screen positive for cough, fever or difficulty breathing will be permitted into the facility.
Visitors under the age of 18 will not be permitted.
To implement this, Ascension Wisconsin facilities will be implementing minimized entrance points as needed.
We appreciate the community’s support in adhering to these guidelines, as we continue to care for
Elective Surgeries and Non-Urgent Medical Appointments:
In order to protect against potential COVID-19 exposure, and to ensure the availability of resources to meet emergent health needs during this pandemic, Ascension Wisconsin is following guidance by the CDC, the U.S. Surgeon General, and American College of Surgeons and postponing elective services and non-urgent medical appointments.
Our top priorities are the health and safety of our patients, associates and visitors. Ascension providers will continue to provide emergency surgeries and procedures and clinically evaluate time-sensitive care delivery needs. We recognize that each case is unique, so processes are in place to review requests for procedures that might be considered elective to determine issues of optimal timing and resource support. Elective procedures are those that have options in terms of timing/level of urgency to be completed, or are determined non essential at this time.
Examples of postponed services include:
• Nonurgent procedures that would require intensive care unit (ICU) care
• Elective procedures that post-procedure would require occupancy in an inpatient hospital bed
• Elective procedures on high risk patients whereby post-procedure status may require occupancy in an inpatient hospital bed
• Elective procedures on any patient
• Annual Wellness Visits Well Child Visits (when immunization is not involved)
• Any impacted patients will be notified directly. As cases of COVID-19 increase, Ascension continues to diligently monitor the situation to ensure we are protecting our patients, associates and the communities we are privileged to serve.

Toll-Free Hotline
Ascension Wisconsin has established a dedicated telephone resource for COVID-19 questions. This can be accessed 24/7 by calling 1-833-981-0711.
Online Information: Self-Assessment Tool Added-
Direct access to COVID-19 online information from Ascension can be found here: This online resource now includes a useful self assessment tool.

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