Riverwood makes changes to prevent COVID-19 spread

Riverwood Healthcare is taking additional steps to help control the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), including doing screening for respiratory symptoms at clinic entrances, postponing routine, non-critical clinic appointments and elective surgeries, and offering phone appointments with health care providers.

Although at the time of this writing, there have no positive cases in Aitkin County, “it doesn’t mean there aren’t cases here,” said Dr. David Taylor, Riverwood Healthcare’s emergency medicine physician and chief medical officer. “We are continuing to follow the recommendations from the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health to help limit exposure and protect our patients, staff, and community from this highly contagious disease.”

Entrance restrictions
Riverwood Healthcare Center entrance changes in Aitkin include:

  • Patients with symptoms of respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and trouble breathing must enter and exit through the main entrance; look for the yellow sign at the main entrance.
  • Patients who need emergency care (e.g., symptoms of a heart attack or stroke) should enter through the main entrance; look for the yellow signs at the main entrance.
  • Patients with other health concerns, including sprains, broken bones, rashes, and bites must enter and exit through the Therapy Services entrance; look for the blue sign at the Therapy Services entrance—between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • The Support Services entrance is closed until further notice.
  • Walk-ins for billing or medical information are not allowed. Payments can be made online at riverwood.mysecurebill.com or call the billing office at (218) 927-8272.
  • Vendors need to drop their deliveries off at the loading dock at the back of the hospital.

Precautionary screenings
Patients will be screened for respiratory illness at clinic entrances in Aitkin, Garrison, and McGregor. Patients will be asked about fever, respiratory illness symptoms, and travel. This is a precaution step to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and others.

Clinic appointments by phone
Patients who have regular, non-emergency appointments scheduled should not come into the clinic. Providers will call patients at their appointment times and will evaluate whether they need an in-person exam.

Elective surgeries postponed
Elective surgeries will be postponed if possible. Beginning March 23, scheduled general surgery procedures will be evaluated by the surgeon and team to determine if the procedure can be postponed. Patients will be contacted by phone to discuss their options.

Garrison Pharmacy
Beginning March 23, the pharmacy will only be available from the drive-thru window for prescription and over-the-counter needs. Those with questions may call 320-525-3401 or 320-525-3400. For deliveries to Riverwood’s Garrison pharmacy drivers need to use the rear door on the east side of the building.

Riverwood Coronavirus Helpline
Beginning March 19, patients who are experiencing respiratory symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19, may call Riverwood’s new coronavirus helpline at 1-844-428-1323, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The helpline is staffed by Riverwood nurses and other staff who have been trained how to respond to questions about COVID-19 symptoms and care. Patients with symptoms should call the helpline before visiting the clinic.

For the latest information on COVID-19, visit https://riverwoodhealthcare.org/covid-19/, www.cdcgov/COVID19, or www.health.state.mn.us, or call the Helpline at 1-844-428-1323.

Help protect our patients, staff, and community—prevent the spread of COVID-19.
To help stop the spread of the virus, practice the following.

  • Avoid crowded areas and gatherings of 10 or more people.
  • Practice social distancing—stay at least six feet away from other people.
  • Avoid discretionary travel including shopping trips and social visits.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick except to get medical care.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in your home daily.
  • Stay aware of the latest information from the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health.