Minnesota hospitals prepare for coming surge in COVID-19 patients

[Star Tribune, March 15, 2020]

Leaders of Allina Health huddled Friday morning in a computer lab littered with emergency planning maps and whiteboards of COVID-19 data, and one at a time discussed the challenges and solutions if a widespread coronavirus outbreak emerges in Minnesota.

Stocks of masks and protective equipment would dwindle. Scant open beds would be filled. Stressed-out workers would flood employee assistance programs. Sick workers would exhaust PTO. Call centers would be overwhelmed by questions, demands and rumors. For each expected problem, the health system was developing a solution.

“It won’t be business as usual,” said Helen Strike, a leader of Allina’s incident command team.

Allina Health incident command center for COVID-19.

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