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Fort Carson to open coronavirus screening and testing facility Thursday

A car stops at one of six gates at Fort Carson, Colo., upgraded in a $7.4 million project. The security project included upgraded barriers and new guard booths and equipment buildings at the gates. It also upgraded electrical systems to accommodate the future Automated Installation Entry system and installed active vehicle barriers at three of the six gates.

GARY DANIEL/U.S. ARMY

By ROSE L. THAYER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 18, 2020

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Fort Carson, Colo., will open a coronavirus screening and testing center Thursday morning to serve as a dedicated facility for patients experiencing symptoms that they believe could be the virus, according to base officials.

The center, located within the base’s Evans Army Community Hospital, will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and provide screening, testing and treatment for patients with symptoms associated with the coronavirus, such as fever, cough and shortness of breath.

“The consolidation of patients to this area of the facility will help minimize the possible spread of [the virus],” according to a news release.

Fort Carson has not had any confirmed cases, though 14 personnel have been tested, according to information released on the base website. Base officials have hosted nightly briefings to allow the community to ask questions during the rapidly changing crisis. Colorado has 183 cases and two deaths, Gov. Jared Polis said Wednesday during a news conference.

Patients, including children ages 10 and older, visiting the testing center will need to bring their Defense Department identification card and list of current prescriptions, according to the release.

The base intends to establish traffic control points at 6 a.m. Thursday to direct patients and staff to designated parking areas, to include parking for people visiting the hospital for screening.

To isolate visitors at the coronavirus facility, visitor access to the hospital is divided into three entrances. The west entrance will serve as the entry for staff and patients who are considered well and not exhibiting symptoms. Each person entering the west entrance will have their temperature taken before proceeding, according to the release.

Staff and patients who are sick or exhibiting symptoms will enter through the screening facility entrance and the emergency department remains open and able to receive all patients with urgent and emergent medical needs. Patients with severe symptoms potentially related to coronavirus will be seen in the emergency department.

Fort Carson, located in Colorado Springs, has about 24,600 service members and about 31,000 family members. It encompasses 373,000 acres and its largest unit is the 4th Infantry Division.

Thayer.rose@stripes.com
Twitter: @Rose_Lori

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