SUBSCRIBE NOW Just 99¢ for your first month

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Don't go to ER for routine COVID tests, urge Alomere Health leaders

People should coordinate with their local primary provider for testing options.

AlomereHealthEntrance.jpg
Alomere Health in Alexandria continues to follow guidelines recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health.
Echo Press file photo
We are part of The Trust Project.

ALEXANDRIA – People needing to get tested for COVID-19 should seek out other places other than an emergency room.

That is the message coming from the Minnesota Hospital Association after a high volume of patients have driven up wait times for medical emergencies at several hospitals.

In a recent news release from the association, Kleio Vrohidis, communications coordinator, said, "We have run out of words to describe what we are undergoing – a crisis does not even come close. Hospitals are literally full. We urgently need the public's helps to keep our emergency departments available for medical emergencies."

Dr. Greg Gesell, Emergency Department medical director at Alomere Health in Alexandria, said that as the hospital continues to see large patient volumes and extended wait times for both COVID and non-COVID related emergencies, people shouldn't seek routine COVID testing in the ER.

"We urge the community to seek non-emergent testing if they are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms potentially attributable to COVID. Alomere Health continues to follow guidelines recommended by the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health and would encourage isolation and direct communication with your local primary provider to coordinate the testing."

ADVERTISEMENT

GesellGreg.jpg
Greg Gesell

Testing at the Alexandria Clinic, a service of Alomere Health, has continued to rise over the last month. Here's a look at the number of COVID tests performed at the clinic since Dec. 15.

  • Dec. 15 to Dec. 21 – 408
  • Dec. 22 to Dec. 28 – 418
  • Dec. 29 to Jan. 4 – 516
  • Jan. 5 – Jan. 11 – 766

Register Nurse Lori Rosch, director of the Alomere Emergency Department, said that she wants patients to receive the appropriate level of care at the right time and the right location. She added that the Minnesota Department of Health is a great resource to help inform people on testing , which the hospital highly encourages people to use whenever possible before presenting to any level of care.

RoschLoriAnn22.jpg
Lori Rosch

"The Emergency Department at Alomere is here to serve our community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year as we fulfill our mission of our passion and purpose to strengthen and nurture the health and well-being of our family, friends, neighbors and communities, through every season of life," said Rosch.

The Minnesota Hospital Association said the care capacity throughout all of Minnesota is severely limited – ICUs are full, emergency departments are full, medical and surgical units are full, hallways are full and surgeries are being canceled.

"Please do not go to emergency departments or urgent care centers for a COVID-19 test," said Vrohidis in the Minnesota Hospital Association news release. "Seek testing at one of the many state testing sites or use an at-home kit. Please help us keep our emergency department capacity and staff available for medical emergencies."

She also said that hospitals and health systems are working together in real-time to meet the challenges and coordinate resources.

"They are essentially now functioning as one giant system of care to support our joint mission of serving Minnesotan," said Vrohidis. "To continue to serve the high volume of patients that need care for strokes, heart attacks, emergency surgeries, motor vehicle accidents and COVID-19, we need your help now."

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects lead and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
What to read next
Fentanyl has taken root in Montana and in communities across the Mountain West during the pandemic, after formerly being prevalent mostly east of the Mississippi River, said Keith Humphreys of the Stanford-Lancet Commission on the North American Opioid Crisis. Montana law enforcement officials have intercepted record numbers of pale-blue pills made to look like prescription opioids such as OxyContin. Nationwide, at least 103,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2021, a 45% increase from 2019, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 7 of every 10 of those deaths were from synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl.
Life can get stressful if you're constantly annoyed by your coworkers, roommate or partner because they think and do things differently than you do. Some people are super disciplined and others are more flexible. But those differences can be a good thing. In this "Health Fusion" column, Viv Williams talks to a local business person about how his company helps individuals and organizations be more balanced and successful by identifying and elevating personal strengths.
In warm weather, fleas like to set up shop in your pet's fur. Dogs and cats can bring them home after romping around outside with infested friends or in areas where squirrels or other wild animals frequent. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams has tips on how to get rid of fleas on your pet and in your home.
Over time, Dr. Leslie Keeley’s injection became known as the “Gold Cure,” named for its supposed content. Later analysis cast doubt on the idea that gold was used at all, but a foundational principal of Keeley's treatment centers continues today, in programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous.