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Spectrum Health introduces COVID-19 screening outside its emergency department

Spectrum Health Opens Triage Tent
Posted at 7:16 AM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 18:51:00-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spectrum Health has created a COVID-19 screening center outside its emergency department at its Butterworth Hospital campus in downtown Grand Rapids.

Spectrum says the move will assure access to its emergency services but provide care for anyone who might come down with coronavirus. The area is set up for anyone who needs to be evaluated for COVID-19, influenza, or other respiratory virus.

Anyone showing only mild symptoms, with stable vital signs and no difficulty breathing, will be educated on coronavirus and sent home.

The tent has been operating since March 14, and since then to date about 200 people have been processed through the triage area. About one third of those people met criteria to be tested for various viruses. About 95 percent of the people seen were sent home.

Anyone very ill will be immediately moved into the emergency department.

Medical personnel who see patients will remove protective gear with the assistance of a professional and don a new set of gear before seeing anyone new.

The triage location is in a tent on Barclay Avenue at the ER entrance; Barclay is closed to traffic from Michigan Street, but access is available from Lyon Street to the parking ramp where people going to the emergency department can park.

People with mild symptoms and no trouble breathing should stay home and watch for worsening symptoms, Spectrum notes. Telephone screening is available from Spectrum Health Now at 616-391-2380.