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Screening tents come down Monday at Carris Health-Rice Hospital in Willmar

Screening tents are coming down at Carris Health - Rice Memorial Hospital, though COVID-19 persists.

Members of the emergency medical services department at Carris Health-Rice Memorial Hospital remove equipment Monday, June 22, from the portable tents set up in the parking lot. The portable tents, erected in March, were set to provide an isolated screening test outside the hospital. Photo courtesy of Carris Health-Rice Memorial Hospital

WILLMAR — The screening tents that have been situated outside the Emergency Department at Carris Health — Rice Memorial Hospital since late March were removed Monday.

The tents were used to screen patients for COVID-19 before entering the hospital and assist with the influx of patients in the Emergency Department.

“Removal of the portable tents does not mean the outbreak is over,” said June Boie, director of critical and emergent care at the hospital, in a news release. “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 will instead be screened at the door of the Emergency Department, and all patients and visitors must still wear masks.

The Emergency Department and other hospital areas were rearranged to separate COVID-19 patients. The hospital is ready to respond to any change in the situation, Boie said in the release.


The emergency medical services team tore down the tents and moved out the generators and other equipment. The tent will be cleaned and returned to storage.

“While we are beginning to shift resources from pandemic management to recovery, we are still maintaining our capabilities to care for our COVID patients,” Boie said.

Social distancing and mask wearing are still recommended to keep all communities safe.

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