Starting this week, COVID-19 testing will be conducted on all patients ⁠— including those with no symptoms (asymptomatic) ⁠— at time of admission to Carris Health – Redwood hospital. Testing will not be completed on patients who are currently hospitalized.

Tests will be collected when the patient is admitted to the hospital. Asymptomatic testing will also take place in the emergency department, if the patient needs to be admitted. The admission process will not be delayed by pending results.

Those who test positive upon admission will be cared for at Redwood Hospital, in isolation, as long as they are asymptomatic. If the patient develops COVID symptoms that warrant a higher level of care, the patient would then be transferred to Carris – Rice Hospital in Willmar, or CentraCare St. Cloud Hospital.

Patients who have already undergone asymptomatic COVID-19 testing prior to a surgical or other elective procedure or part of their pregnancy care will not require retesting.

“By conducting asymptomatic testing, we will gain a further understanding of community spread, optimize our use of personal protective equipment (PPE), increase employee and patient safety, and better manage the care of those who develop symptoms during hospitalization,” said Dr. George Morris, vice president of performance excellence and physician lead of the COVID-19 incident command.

“We know asymptomatic testing will produce more positives, but that means we can identify and potentially treat a person earlier in the disease process which can result in a better outcome.”

Anyone seeking a COVID-19 test who is not admitted to the hospital can contact Carris Health – Redwood’s Nurse Line at 507-637-1730 or go online to CentraCare eClinic.