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CentraCare Addresses Surging COVID-19 Cases With Systemwide Response

Published in Media Releases Author: CentraCare

In response to the rapidly growing number of COVID-19 patients being admitted to hospitals throughout our region, CentraCare is implementing additional plans to coordinate and consolidate resources to best serve our communities.

Starting Monday, November 23, CentraCare – Sauk Centre will primarily care for COVID-positive patients from around the region. The level of care includes patients who do not require ventilators or high-volume oxygen but still need hospitalization.

CentraCare – Melrose and CentraCare – Long Prairie will shift to non-COVID hospitals, treating non-COVID acute hospitalizations, surgical patients and OB patients.

CentraCare – Monticello will also expand its ability to care for COVID-19 patients with additional patient rooms equipped to meet the needs of those who need to be treated for the disease.

These actions are meant to reduce the heavy patient volumes St. Cloud Hospital is currently experiencing. This means increased availability for patients needing a higher level of care, including those requiring ventilators and other critical services.

"The transition helps meet the needs of our communities. It allows us to consolidate resources to best care for our patients," said Dr. Ulrika Wigert, Section Director for Regional Family Medicine. "We are working together across all our sites to provide patients with the highest quality of care and to do it in the safest, most efficient way possible. We have excellent team members and staff who are able to care for all our patients.”

The Emergency Departments at each site will function as they do today, with the potential for admission to an open bed at any one of our hospitals, if the immediate site does not have availability.

Additionally, Carris Health, a wholly owned subsidiary of CentraCare, will continue to manage patients appropriately across the Southwest Central part of the state. Carris Health – Rice Memorial is prepared to potentially receive ICU patients – including those on ventilators – or general care patients from throughout the system or from its regional partners.

"At St. Cloud Hospital, approximately 30 percent of our patients are positive with COVID-19. The additional resources needed to care for these patients is stretching this location,” said Dr. George Morris, Incident Command Physician. “When we can utilize our hospitals across the region to provide the appropriate level of care – whether it be for COVID or even surgical services – we are still getting our patients the care they need. It just might be in a different location than they would normally expect.”

We continue to ask the public support in doing their part to stay home, wear a mask, social distance and wash hands. Together we will get through this.