(Willmar MN-) Carris Health in Willmar says starting this week, COVID-19 testing will be conducted on all patients — including those with no symptoms (asymptomatic) — at time of admission to CentraCare and Carris Health hospitals. Testing will not be completed on patients who are currently hospitalized.
Tests will be collected when the patient is admitted to the hospital and once it's determined which unit they will entering. Asymptomatic testing will also take place in the emergency department, if the patient needs to be admitted. The admission process will not be held up by pending results.
Those who test positive upon admission will be cared for in Carris Health or CentraCare COVID-19 units and/or placed in isolation precautions.
Patients who have already undergone asymptomatic COVID-19 testing prior to a surgical or other elective procedure or part of their pregnancy care will not require retesting.
"By conducting asymptomatic testing, we will gain a further understanding of community spread, optimize our use of personal protective equipment (PPE), increase employee and patient safety, and better manage the care of those who develop symptoms during hospitalization," said Dr. George Morris, vice president of performance excellence and physician lead of CentraCare’s COVID-19 incident command.
"We know asymptomatic testing will produce more positives, but that means we can identify and potentially treat a person earlier in the disease process which can result in a better outcome."
Anyone seeking a COVID-19 test that is not admitted to the hospital can contact one of the following resources:
Carris Health – Willmar Nurse Line: 320-441-5361, M-F, 7am-5pm, Sa & Su, 8am-5pm
Carris Health – Redwood Nurse Line: 507-637-1730, M-F, 8am-5pm
CentraCare Connect: 320-200-3200, 24/7.