Story published: April 10, 2020
Diagnosing and treating patients with the novel coronavirus comes with different challenges for rural and regional healthcare systems located outside major metropolitan areas. From fewer ventilators to a shorter supply of intensive care unit beds, careful planning and usage of resources will be key factors in flattening the curve for northern Minnesota, Essentia Health’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Peter Henry told One Greater Minnesota Reporter Kaomi Goetz this week in a Zoom call.
“Our largest facilities are in Duluth and Fargo, N.D., but we really deliver [health care] to a really rural population, so we are recognizing we expect to see the surge of the peak a little bit later than the metropolitan [Twin Cities] area,” he said.
One of the ways Essentia Health is preparing for the peak is to identify three or four different surge levels with plans to expand the number of intensive care unit beds by transforming other spaces on a temporary basis, as needed.
Editor’s Note: As the COVID-19 crisis unfolds in Minnesota, certain details in our stories about the impact of the virus may become outdated within hours, days or weeks of our publication. For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus in Minnesota, please visit the websites for the Office of Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan or the Minnesota Department of Health.
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