(Willmar MN-) The screening tents set up in front of the Emergency Department at Carris Health – Rice Memorial Hospital were taken down Monday. The portable tents were erected at the end of March to allow all patients to be screened for coronavirus prior to entering the facility and assist with the influx of patients presenting to the Emergency Department. June Boie (Bowie), Director of Critical and Emergent Care, says “Removal of the portable tents does not mean the outbreak is over. We continue to see positive COVID-19 cases at Rice Hospital; however, we no longer have the need for an isolated screening tent outside of our building.”
Patients seeking care at a Carris Health facility, including the Emergency Department, will be screened at the door before entry to best identify and isolate those who are suspect with the virus. Patients and visitors are also required to wear a mask upon entering the building. Boie says “Our emergency department is available 24/7, 365 days a year. We are prepared to handle health emergencies as well as coronavirus cases.”
Carris Health – Rice Memorial Hospital has arranged its emergency department, along with other areas throughout the health system, to separate suspect or positive COVID-19 patients to keep all patients and staff safe. Lobbies and waiting areas have been reconfigured to also enforce separation.
“While COVID-19 patient numbers have decreased, we are aware that the coronavirus will continue to circulate in our communities,” said Boie. “We have the teams and processes in place to quickly respond to a change in situation, including a potential surge of coronavirus cases.”
The EMS team will tear down the tent, HVAC equipment and generators. The tent will be cleaned and placed back into storage, available as needed for the next deployment.
“While we are beginning to shift resources from pandemic management to recovery, we are still maintaining our capabilities to care for our COVID patients,” said Boie. “We all have to learn to live with this virus. Practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings are public behaviors that will continue to benefit our community.”