EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – As hospitals fill with COVID-19 patients, many are looking for ways to keep other patients separated.

Ascension St. Vincent in Evansville is creating a separate emergency room for people experiencing respiratory symptoms to keep patients and staff safe.

Patients who arrive at the emergency room’s entrance are immediately triaged as they approach the doors and directed to the appropriate emergency room for their symptoms.

Hospital officials hope the new process will encourage patients not to let fears of the pandemic keep them from seeking medical treatment when they need it.

“I think we’ve seen where people are afraid the hospitals may be full of COVID, or they won’t be protected,” said Dr. Heidi Dunniway, Regional Chief Medical Officer with Ascension St. Vincent. “We’ve had the opportunity in this part of the country that we’ve been able to watch what’s happened elsewhere and learn from it, and so we’ve developed these processes to keep our patients safe.”

St. Vincent is still operating Peyton Manning Emergency Room for Children.

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(This story was originally published on April 21, 2020)