WILLMAR — In response to an expected surge of COVID-19 patients, Carris Health-Rice Memorial Hospital is erecting a screening and triage tent outside of the hospital emergency department with plans to begin screening patients at the tent March 30, according to a news release from Carris Health.

“The pre-screening and check-in area is being developed to provide safe care for patients with respiratory illnesses and minimize the risk of spreading coronavirus,” said June Boie, director of critical and emergent services for Carris Health.

Starting Monday, patients and visitors at the emergency entrance will be evaluated and staff will determine whether the patient can be treated or should be directed to the appropriate care setting in the hospital or an alternate site.

All Carris Health facilities have increased the screening procedures and visitor guidelines as preparations continue for the spread of COVID-19.

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If you need to seek care for yourself or a family member, and are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, please call one of the following to ensure you’re directed to the correct source of care:

  • Carris Health — Willmar Nurse Line: 320-441-5361, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday.

  • CentraCare Connect: 320-200-3200, 24/7 to speak with a nurse.

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