Spectrum Health Hospitals Adapt to Longer Timeline for COVID-19
Triage tents removed for now; testing continues
FREMONT, Mich., April 20, 2020 – With effective social distancing slowing the surge of COVID-19 patients in West Michigan, Spectrum Health has changed workflows for patients showing COVID-19 symptoms.
“So far, here in Newaygo County, we are seeing social distancing practices help keep the spread of COVID-19 in check and we are thankfully seeing less demand for Gerber Memorial’s triage tent,” said Shelly Johnson, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s interim market leader and chief operating officer. “Should the need arise for rapid and extensive testing, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial and our staff are prepared to ramp back up, collect specimens for testing and care for our community.
"We hope together, as a community, we can flatten the curve even as Gerber Memorial remains fully prepared for whatever may come next. On behalf of Gerber Memorial and all our staff who work here and live in the community, I cannot emphasize enough how critical we continue to practice social distancing, minimize contact as much as we can and observe personal hygiene All the science and evidence shows that these measures are steadily helping to flatten the curve in West Michigan, which buys us much-needed time, and we encourage everyone to continue these difficult yet necessary precautions.”
As a result, COVID-19 triage tents at the regional hospitals are now in the process of being removed. The tents are used as a strategy to rapidly assess and cohort large volumes of patients presenting with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
COVID-19 triage tents remain open in Grand Rapids at Butterworth, Blodgett and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital as well as at the drive-up specimen collection site located at 1300 Michigan St. NE.
Spectrum Health offers free virtual COVID-19 screenings to anyone with symptoms and may be concerned they have the virus. The purpose is to prevent the spread of illness by enabling people to seek the information they need from their homes, while making it easy and convenient for them. People in the state of Michigan who are experiencing symptoms can call the Spectrum Health hotline at 833.559.0658 to be scheduled for a free virtual screening. Anyone with severe or life-threatening symptoms should call 911. Testing requires an appointment so screening is the first step in the process.
Spectrum Health has posted downloadable materials, travel tips, videos and other information on its website as a means to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Community members, churches, schools, businesses and others are encouraged to visit www.spectrumhealth.org/covid19 to access the resources.