Memorial Medical Center and HSHS St. Johnís Hospital institute new triage protocol for emergency department patients

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[March 18, 2020]  SPRINGFIELD Ė Memorial Medical Center and HSHS St. Johnís Hospital on Tuesday morning began screening emergency department patients for COVID-19 symptoms in a triage area near the emergency department entrances.

ďThis measure is one that we are taking to protect our community and our colleagues,Ē said Dr. Raj Govindaiah, Memorial Health System senior vice president and chief medical officer. ďThis will ensure that patients are screened and treated in accordance with public health guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control.Ē

ďThis is an important step that both hospitals are taking to make sure we are able to care for all patients are coming to our emergency department in the most efficient and safe way,Ē said Dr. Gurpreet Mander, chief medical officer of HSHS St. Johnís.

Patients will be screened in an area just outside the emergency department of each hospital. Patients without respiratory symptoms will be screened and sent to the emergency department check-in areas.

If a patient has respiratory symptoms, one of the hallmarks of COVID-19, he or she will go to a portable screening bay for assessment. The patient then will be directed to appropriate treatment settings.

Memorial Health System also on Monday began operating a respiratory screening clinic at South Sixth ExpressCare, 2950 S. Sixth St., Springfield. The clinic will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

People coming to the respiratory clinic should call a hotline before they arrive. That number is 217-588-4019. The clinic is open to anyone with a respiratory problem that could be COVID-19.

In addition to the hotline, people can notify staff of their visit to the Memorial respiratory clinic through the ďOn My WayĒ feature Memorial Health System app. The app is available on the Apple Store, Google Play Store and at

HSHS Medical Group Priority Care, 1836 S. MacArthur Blvd., Springfield is also operating a regional respiratory hub. Hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

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Reminder: What to Do If You Are Experiencing Symptoms

If you are experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms, please do not go to the emergency room. First, call your primary care physician. If you donít have a physician, call the Sangamon County Department of Public Health hotline at 217-321-2606.

About HSHS St. Johnís Hospital

HSHS St. Johnís Hospital in Springfield, Illinois is a regional medical center offering a comprehensive array of health care services to central and southern Illinois. Founded in 1875, St. Johnís is the flagship hospital of Hospital Sisters Health System and is home to the Prairie Heart Institute, St. Johnís Childrenís Hospital, St. Johnís Womenís Services, St. Johnís Neurosciences Institute, St. Johnís Cancer Center, orthopedic services and AthletiCare. St. Johnís now has one of the most advanced surgery centers in the nation and a renovated patient tower. St. Johnís is designated as a level I trauma center, has its own college of nursing and is a teaching hospital for the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. For more information about St. Johnís Hospital, visit

About Memorial Health System
One of the leading healthcare organizations in Illinois, Memorial Health System of Springfield is a community-based, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to patient care, education and research. Our more than 6,700 staff members, partnering physicians and hundreds of volunteers are dedicated to improving the health of the communities we have served since 1897. In a year, we serve an average of more than 40,000 inpatients, more than 667,000 outpatients and more than 125,000 patients in our four Emergency Departments. Our highly skilled team has a passion for excellence and is dedicated to providing a great patient experience for every patient every time.

[Dean Olsen | Media Relations Consultant | Communications
Memorial Health System]

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