I was concerned about going to an appointment at CarrisHealth Willmar Main Clinic on Aug. 16, during the current COVID-19 pandemic. A nurse assured me protocols were in place and everyone is required to wear a mask.

Here’s what I witnessed:

After exiting the elevator on the fourth floor at the clinic, I checked in, and was directed by staff wearing masks to sit in the waiting area to the right of the information desk. My appointment was at 10:45 a.m., not seen until about noon, so I had plenty of time to observe.

First, an elderly man in a wheelchair accompanied by a man, both wearing masks properly.

Young girl, along with mother, barely have their masks covering their noses.

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Man, 20s or 30s, immediately pulls down HIS mask as he sits down in the waiting room.

Man with a walker, accompanied by a woman, both with masks pulled down. The woman pulls up her mask to ask questions at the information desk, returns to the waiting room and pulls down her mask.

A mother and a high school student are there for sports physical. The student keeps his mask pulled down. The mother appears to wear a mask properly.

An elderly woman with a walker wears a mask properly.

About 11:15 a.m. or 11:30 a.m., I inquired about my 10:45 a.m. appointment. I ask to go into an examination room as people are not wearing masks properly. The staff makes no attempt to ask people in the waiting room to properly wear masks.

I am told by the staff I’d need to wait another 30 minutes. I am concerned as this is a pandemic and I was assured by CarrisHealth about my concerns.

Departing the main entrance to the clinic through rotating doors, a man and woman are seated inside the clinic wearing no mask, about 12:30 p.m. or later.

Results: Not including staff, I observed at least 12 patients or visitors during my appointment, only 50 percent, or six people, were properly wearing masks covering their faces, at least two people were sitting at the front door not wearing masks.

CarrisHealth can do better to protect patients during office visits during a pandemic.

Jannet Walsh