It wasn't your usual Mercy blessing, as the COVID-19 pandemic requires changes to even our most meaningful traditions.
The Most Reverend Edward M. Rice, Bishop of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese, joined a couple of Mercy co-workers via video to virtually bless a “forward triage” facility at Mercy Hospital Springfield. The virtual blessing was designed to recognize our need for God's presence in our work while also honoring the social distancing we know is imperative to keep people well.
The new triage facility is located just outside the hospital’s north emergency room entrance. It will be used to quickly provide help and masks for those who think they may have COVID-19.
Adding this extra level of care protects patients who are visiting the ER for unrelated issues. A Mercy co-worker will perform an initial triage to quickly assess the reason for a patient’s visit. If COVID-19 is suspected, the patient will be isolated from the rest of the patients and treated in that space. If the potential COVID-19 patients are seriously ill, they will be routed through a separate entrance to minimize exposure to the waiting room and other patients.