In response to the Indiana State Department of Health’s report of the first LaPorte County resident diagnosed with COVID-19 (coronavirus), we can report that to date, Franciscan Health Michigan City has no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the hospital.

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) 879-5111, 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:

•           The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov

•           The Indiana State Department of Health at www.in.gov/isdh

•           LaPorte County at laporteco.in.gov/covid-19/

•           Franciscan Health at franciscanhealth.org/COVID-19

Area residents can be reassured that Infection Control teams at Franciscan Health hospitals have implemented procedures with staff and have the necessary equipment to care for any patient with this illness or any other flu strains. This includes having protective barriers and isolation areas to protect staff and others from airborne exposure to COVID-19. Further, our clinicians train year-round to respond to any potential outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Franciscan Health Michigan City plans to offer COVID-19 outpatient testing on a limited basis beginning next week. Tests will first require an order from a patient’s primary physician, and we will provide details when that testing is available.

COVID-19 is a viral illness, and treatment is rest, drinking fluids and medication that reduces fever. If you have acute symptoms such as shortness of breath and high fever with coughing, then it is appropriate to call the Emergency Department so we can make preparations for your arrival. 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.