Respiratory triage unit opens on former Memorial Hospital property
PAWTUCKET, RI (WLNE) – Care New England (CNE) has agreed to place a Respiratory Infection Triage Unit (RITU) in the parking lot of the former Memorial Hospital property.
The site will open Wednesday, April 8 at 8:00 a.m.
The triage unit is geared towards treating anyone with respiratory symptoms, which do not need to be related to coronavirus.
“It could be a cold. It could be the flu. It could be strep,” said Alyscia Grant, the Chief Access Officer for Care New England.
You do not need insurance to be treated at RITU. However, you must have an appointment to receive treatment. You can make an appointment by calling 401-CARE-NOW (401-227-3669), or by calling your primary care provider.
Services at the site will be provided in multiple languages.
The triage unit is not the same as a drive-thru coronavirus testing site. You will not automatically get tested for coronavirus at the triage unit. You will only be test for COVID-19 at the unit if a doctor deems it necessary.
“Care New England is happy to be able to provide this location, ready to assess patients for their potentially COVID-19 related symptoms as we work together to contain the spread of this worldwide concern,” said Dr. James Finale, President and CEO of CNE.
The RITU site will be staffed by CNE medical professionals Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien and Central Falls Mayor James Diossa are relieved the RITU site in coming to Blackstone Valley.
“We want to make this as easy and accessible as possible,” said Diossa.
The mayors hope the site expands to an official coronavirus testing site in the coming weeks.
“We’re working with Care New England and the Department of Health to get it as an official swabbing site as well. It’s man power resources they’re working on,” said Grebien.
The state is still considering whether or not to convert the inside of the former Memorial Hospital into a coronavirus overflow treatment center.