Cloquet Clinic Turns Ice House Into Coronavirus Testing Station

CLOQUET, Minn.– Area hospitals are working to test as many people for Coronavirus as they can. Healthcare providers in Cloquet are channeling their inner Minnesotan to help.

“It seems to go well, people seem to be okay with it,” said Dr. Charles Kendall, Physician and Incident Commander for Community Memorial Hospital and Raiter Clinic in Cloquet.

Testing was first done at Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet before moving across the street to Raiter Clinic to make testing access easier for patients.

As testing capacity is increasing statewide, a separate building was needed for their Coronavirus testing station.

So those at the clinic got creative.

While some places have been using trailers or pop-up tents, Raiter Clinic is using an ice fishing house for their testing center.

“The fish houses were pretty convenient and it worked out pretty well,” said Kendall. “We figure when we’re all done with this COVID pandemic, it won’t be too hard to get rid of them.”

The clinic has two staff members working in the new testing station that sits in the parking lot of Raiter Clinic.

Once a patient gets an order from their doctor and does a telehealth visit with one of the clinic’s physicians, they can pull up and be tested right from their cars.

Around 300 people have been tested so far at Raiter Clinic with around 10 people being tested every day. A number that staff members say is going up.

Clinic employees say they have no shortage of COVID-19 tests even with increased testing. Something they couldn’t have said a few weeks ago.

“Early on in this pandemic, we had to be careful because we were in danger of using up the tests we had,” said Kendall. “But now we’re in pretty good shape and so we’re not worried about not having enough tests.”

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