WAUSAU — Ascension Medical Group Wisconsin has launched respiratory care sites dedicated to care for COVID-19 suspect or confirmed patients.

In Wausau, a respiratory care site has been established at Ascension Medical Group – Westwood, 1901 Westwood Center Blvd. Hours of operation will be 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Ascension Medical Group’s drive-through testing for COVID-19 will also be offered at this location from 8 a.m. to noon.

“The goal of these respiratory care locations is to treat those who need immediate care for coughs, sore throats and other respiratory infections but are neither critically ill nor need to be seen in the emergency department,” said Stewart Watson, M.D., North Region Vice President of Clinical Services, Ascension Medical Group Wisconsin, in a news release. “Clinicians and associates at these locations are specially trained in use of personal protective equipment and disinfection that will take place during and between each patient visit.”

Patients seeking drive-through testing or respiratory care will need to undergo a screening process with an Ascension Medical Group provider to ensure they receive the appropriate level of care.

Patients in the Wausau Area can be screened for respiratory illness care by a registered nurse by calling 715-355-9775, or by contacting their local Ascension Medical Group provider office, or via Ascension Online Care (ascension.org/OnlineCare).

“People with shortness of breath or chest pain, should still seek care at an emergency department,” Watson said.

Respiratory care services offered on site include an in-person full evaluation of acute respiratory concerns, specimen collection for influenza, COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) with X-ray services available as needed.

Patients who need to be seen will be given directions to Ascension’s respiratory care site, where they can be evaluated and treated, including imaging and lab where appropriate. Patients who do not need to be cared for in person will receive directions for drive-through testing if needed along with a stay-at-home recommendation with a care management plan.

Healthy patients who need follow-up for issues such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure and asthma should contact their primary care provider.

Ascension Wisconsin has established a dedicated telephone resource for COVID-19 questions. This can be accessed 24/7 by calling 833-981-0711. Direct access to COVID-19 online information from Ascension can be found at healthcare.ascension.org/COVID-19.