Hospitals and Medical Professionals Update on COVID-19
Area hospitals are busy preparing for the potential impact of coronavirus in the Northland.
DULUTH, Minn. – Area hospitals are busy preparing for the potential impact of coronavirus in the Northland. Earlier today, St. Luke’s and Essentia leaders came together to help address questions concerning the virus.
Tests have been happening at both Essentia and St. Luke’s in Duluth for the past week.
Hospital officials say they have enough equipment for medical personnel and there are enough beds for potential patients. However, the medical team also discussed a nationwide shortage in testing supplies, which is why people with the most severe cases or those who most likely to be infected are being tested first.
Essentia Health recommends that people reach out to its hotline or to schedule an e-visit with the hospital if they believe they should be tested.
“This will allow schedulers to screen for key symptoms, which include shortness of breath, fever and cough along with known exposure to COVID-19 or travel to an infected area,” said Dr. Jon Pryor, President of Essentia Health’s East Market.
Medical professionals believe that if the community does its part in social distancing and self-isolation, then there should be an adequate number of hospital staff members healthy and ready to help serve those who have the virus.
“What’s more important right now is the public health measures,” said Dr. Nicholas Van Deelen, Chief Medical Officer at St. Luke’s. “The basic personal hygiene stuff and the social distancing and the self-isolation because that allows us to, as I’m sure you’ve heard, flatten the curve. So if we can all work at that, yes, then we will have adequate staff.”
Tests of COVID-19 are being given free of charge.
There have been around 200 tests done in the city of Duluth already.
The hotline phone number for Essentia Health is 1-833-494-0836. For the nurse’s hotline of St. Luke’s, call 218-249-4200.