Mayo Clinic Health System location in Holmen temporarily becoming a facility for patients with only respiratory issues

HOLMEN, Wis. (WKBT) – Mayo Clinic Health System in Holmen is temporarily turning its facility into respiratory clinic for not just COVID-19 patients, but people with other respiratory issues as well.

“Well, this just one more step in the COVID process that we’re all moving through and transitioning, physician Paul Molling said.

Mayo officials say this process usually takes up to five months.

“We were able to convert it within just a few days,” operations administrator Brad Weber said. “It was a lot of different work we’re not normally doing, with shuffling around physicians from one site to the other or nurses and their support staff.”

But not everyone can just walk through the door if they feel sick.

“The mechanism is you go through our COVID screening process online,” Molling said. “In the event that we really think they are a COVID risk patient, they can be screened through our drive-thru process.”

If you are ill enough to visit the clinic in-person, you will be given a protective mask, while staff will be wearing other forms of personal protective equipment.

“Those individuals that we believe need to be seen further in a respiratory clinic like Holmen that we’ve set up across the enterprise, nationally we’ve done this, those patients will brought in here in a safe manner,” Molling said.

Molling says he is not expecting staff to be shorthanded on supplies.

“And hence why we set up this clinic to take care of those respiratory because we can center our supplies to one location,” Molling said.

And if they end up getting overwhelmed with patients, Weber says the clinic has backup plans.

“We’ll move to Plan B,” Weber said. “Perhaps that’s opening up another respiratory clinic site. I hope not. But if that’s what we have to do, that’s what we have to do to take care of our patients.”

Their main advice for everyone right now is to stay at home.

“Heed the warnings that everybody is saying that this is very, very serious,” Weber said. “And what we’re seeing is that this only going to get worse over the next few weeks.”

Both Molling and Weber say the clinic has three hallways to treat patients.

One is for patients with COVID-19, another for those who potentially have the coronavirus, and the last for those with other respiratory problems.

Weber says each hallway has six to eight rooms.

Mayo’s COVID-19 drive thru testing site is continuing to see an uptick in patients as well.

They are averaging 70 tests per day this week.

The Mayo location in La Crosse will continue to serve for emergency use only.