(FOX 9) - In an effort to address hospital capacity issues, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed a lease for an alternative care site to provide low-level medical care if it is needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Walz designated Presbyterian Homes-Langton Shores in Roseville, Minnesota to serve as a place where patients can receive low-level medical care or monitoring. The facility will not be designed for walk-up medical care, nor as a COVID-19 treatment facility.
“By setting up this alternate care site in Roseville, our team is making sure that—should it ever be needed—our hospitals have the capacity they need to treat all patients who need care,” Walz said in a release.
The site will only be used if hospitals need to make space for critical care. The Minnesota Department of Health is tracking hospital surge capacities daily and posting that data online to the COVID-19 Response and Preparation Capacity Dashboard.
According to the release, expansion capacity within hospitals will be used first, and should those capacities be reached, hospitals would work with patients to identify those who could be safely transferred to alternate care sites. The transferred patients would then continue their treatment or recovery in the alternate care site.
“Patients belong in a hospital as much as possible for as long as possible to keep people comfortable,” said State Healthcare Coordination Center (SHCC) Manager Dr. John Hick. “If the alternate care site is needed, it will mirror hospital spaces, which is why we prioritized sites like Presbyterian Homes-Langton Shores, which has some of this infrastructure already in place, over larger open-space community facilities.”
The alternate care site work group is a part of the SHCC, which helps address equipment and staffing needs at the sites.