Avera and Sanford preparing for surge

Coronavirus

Sanford’s lab surpassed 5,000 tests this week, and is expecting to double that in the next few weeks.

Both Sanford and Avera Health are trying to get ahead of what’s to come.

A surge is coming.

“Although all of us are hoping and praying for the absolute best here, as a health care system, we can’t afford to do that. We have to be absolutely prepared for the worst,” Chief Medical Officer at Avera McKennan Mike Elliott said.

To do that, Avera is turning the 5-story Prairie Center on its main campus into a 150-bed hospital.

It’s also maximizing employees, beds, equipment.

“Now is not the time to take our foot off the gas pedal,” Elliott said.

Sanford Health is also focused on adding protective equipment, beds, ventilators, and having enough staff.

Sanford has launched a new rapid test, that delivers results in 90 minutes.

“That 90 minute test is being used for those most in need, so our highest priority patients in the hospital along with health care workers and elderly our vulnerable population in long term care facilities,” VP Medical Officer at Sanford Health Mike Wilde said.

Wilde says Sanford knows many are anxious about the impact of the surge on health care.

“Our comprehensive actions will help keep our community safer, which is our top priority. Your health,” Wilde said.

Avera says patients who typically get care at the Prairie Center will be notified of any changes to the locations of their clinics.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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