ST. CLOUD -- CentraCare is implementing additional plans to coordinate and consolidate resources to best serve the community as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise.

Starting Monday, the Sauk Centre location will primarily care for COVID positive patients from around the region. This includes patients who do not require ventilators or high-volume oxygen but still need hospitalization.

The Monticello location will also expand its ability to care for COVID-19 patients.

The Melrose and Long Prairie locations will shift to non-COVID hospitals, treating acute hospitalizations, surgical patients and OB patients.

Dr. Ulrika Wigert is the Section Director for Regional Family Medicine. She says these moves are about working together to continue to provide quality care to patients.

The transition helps meet the needs of our communities. It allows us to consolidate resources to best care for our patients.

CentraCare Spokesman Dr. George Morris says these actions are meant to reduce the heavy patient volumes St. Cloud Hospital is currently experiencing.

Approximately 30 percent of our patients are positive with COVID-19. The additional resources needed to care for these patients is stretching this location.

Additionally, Carris Health will continue to manage patients appropriately across the Southwest Central part of the state.

The Emergency Departments at each site will function as they do today.

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