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St. Francis Medical Center Pauses Scheduling Of New, Non-Urgent Surgical Procedures

Karen Apricot

MONROE, LA – Beginning Saturday, July 31, 2021, St. Francis Medical Center will pause scheduling new, non-urgent surgical procedures requiring an inpatient bed for the next two weeks as COVID cases continue to climb. Outpatient procedures that do not require an overnight stay in the hospital will go on as planned.

“St. Francis Medical Center is currently experiencing high volumes of COVID and non-COVID patients. Our inpatient facility is quickly reaching capacity,” said Kristin Wolkart, President at St. Francis Medical Center. “We made this decision to make additional beds and staff available. Previously scheduled procedures will proceed. We will continue to schedule outpatient and new urgent surgical procedures.”

“We encourage patients to maintain any outpatient procedures or visits that are needed as those are not being interrupted," Wolkart continued. "Delaying or avoiding needed care may result in negative health impacts. Please do not ignore any signs or symptoms which may indicate emergency care is needed."

St. Francis Medical Center admitted 11 new COVID-19 patients in the last 48 hours. The hospital presently has 40 COVID-19 inpatients with 30 percent of those in the ICU. For comparison, on June 30, 2021, there were a total of 10 COVID-19 patients at St. Francis Medical Center. The volume of patients visiting the ER has increased 43 percent over the past week, with many of those being COVID-19 patients. St. Francis offers an outpatient Regeneron Infusion Clinic for patients with COVID-19 who do not need to be hospitalized. Over 360 doses of Regeneron have been administered over the past two weeks.

If someone has minor symptoms – ear pain, tooth pain, rash without swelling, a sore throat without a fever, or just needs a medication refill – they can schedule a video visit by calling a St. Francis Medical Group provider or visiting The emergency room should be utilized for severe symptoms or life-threatening emergencies. If unsure whether symptoms qualify as minor or severe, please call your primary care provider. In an emergency, always dial 911.
The St. Francis Vaccine Clinic, located at St. Francis Community Health Center at 2600 Tower Drive, Suite 204 in Monroe, is accepting appointments and walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccinations. Their hours are Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. and Friday, 8:30 a.m. - noon. Visit for more information.