On Monday, March 16, St. Patrick provided the following press release:

The well-being of our patients and caregivers is our top priority, especially during this time. With COVID-19 circulating in our communities, Providence Montana is taking steps to ensure the safety of our patients and our facilities in order to care for our acute patients and as many COVID-19 patients as possible.

The following visitor restrictions will apply beginning Wednesday, March 18. Entrance points will be consolidated, and screening will be in place. Please follow posted signage and directives from on-site Providence employees.

Inpatient units

To limit the spread of infectious illnesses, in-person visits will not be allowed. We encourage patients and their families to communicate through phone and video chat. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for the following:

  • Children admitted to the hospital
  • Maternity units
  • Patients receiving end-of-life care

For these very limited exceptions, all visitors must be 18 years or older. Visitors will also be asked to return home if they exhibit cold or flu-like symptoms, or have a fever.

Outpatient clinics

Patients who have mobility or cognitive issues being seen in an outpatient clinic may only be accompanied by one adult support person.

Elective/discretionary procedures

To meet the acute health care needs of our patients, Providence Montana, working with physicians and providers, has decided to postpone elective/discretionary inpatient and outpatient surgeries for non-life threatening and non-urgent care at our hospital campuses, effective today at St. Pat’s (Missoula) and March 19 at St. Joe’s (Polson). A Providence Medical Advisory Council will review cases on a day-by-day basis. This action is directly related to our efforts to effectively respond to COVID-19 care, prevention and supply conservation.

Our care teams are working with patients to reschedule elective procedures. All patients who currently have elective procedures scheduled will be contacted.

Where to go

We are directing patients who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19, or have a fever and respiratory symptoms, to call their health care provider, use ExpressCare Virtual, or use the online coronavirus assessment tool for instructions for seeking care, and minimizing the risk of exposing others.

We have been working with our Providence clinics for appropriate triaging for possible patients, and working with other clinics and facilities in the area for similar responses.

We are working diligently to take care of our patients, and will not be taking media interviews. Please refer all questions about the COVID-19 virus to the Missoula City County Health Department.

Providence continues to monitor the risk of COVID-19 closely and will make adjustments to visitor restrictions, as necessary. We appreciate your help in keeping our patients, visitors and caregivers safe.

Visit here to learn more about COVID-19 and how you can protect yourself.