Watertown hospital temporarily shutters urgent care unit to address ‘significant’ rise in ER patients

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WATERTOWN, Wis. — A Watertown hospital is temporarily shutting down its urgent care unit to help alleviate the strain on its emergency room.

Watertown Regional Medical Center shared a Facebook post on Monday saying the hospital is reallocating resources from the shuttered urgent care center to help treat emergency room patients in a “more timely manner.”

The change was prompted by a “significant and sustained” rise in emergency room visits from COVID and non-COVID-related patients, according to the post.

“In the meantime, don’t put off the care you need,” the post reads. “Please contact your primary care provider to set up an appointment.”

RELATED: ‘We’re all stretched to the limit’: Local emergency rooms facing long wait times

Dr. Kyle Martin — Medical Director of Emergency Services at SSM St. Mary’s — said last week that the health care provider’s emergency rooms throughout southern Wisconsin have recently seen all-time records and long wait times.

Watertown Regional Medical Center plans to reevaluate the change on a rolling basis.