Billings Clinic completes construction of new SameDay Care Viral
New area to provide testing, evaluation for respiratory illness, including COVID-19
Billings Clinic is pleased to announce that on Wednesday, March 31, it will move its temporary Viral Triage Unit (VTU) to its new home at SameDay Care, at 801 N. 29th St., on the downtown Billings Clinic campus. Testing and evaluation for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses (point of care influenza, strep, etc.) will be conducted in this area, called SameDay Care Viral.
This area has been under construction on the east side of SameDay Care, just off of North Broadway, since late 2020 and will provide a dedicated space to evaluate and test for respiratory and viral illnesses. The new 2,400-square-foot space features seven exam rooms, x-ray capability, nurse and provider stations, and its own waiting area to keep potentially infectious patients separated from other SameDay Care patients.
Patients are encouraged to schedule a same-day appointment with SameDay Care Viral by calling 406-238-2677. This reduces wait times, allows them to show up right at the time of their appointment and keeps patient flow moving efficiently. Hours will be Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Patients enter through the SameDay Care entrance and will be directed by signage and door screeners to the viral testing area. They will receive a thorough examination and a provider will collect a test sample if needed. Patients of all ages can be seen in SameDay Care Viral, but Pediatrics can also provide COVID-19 testing for pediatric patients.
Also on March 31, Billings Clinic Heights and Billings Clinic West will begin offering COVID-19 testing. Screeners at each location will have a questionnaire to help direct patients and will provide further instructions on what to do in order to be tested onsite.
The $430,000 SameDay Care Viral area was constructed thanks in part to a generous $60,000 donation from the Fortin Foundation of Florida and a $150,000 grant from the State of Montana Coronavirus Relief program.
With the opening of SameDay Care Viral, the temporary Viral Triage Unit located in in Billings Clinic’s former dialysis unit will cease operations at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30.
The VTU, located in the hospital off of North 29th Street, was stood up early on in the pandemic as a temporary space for COVID testing and has been a critical tool in Billings Clinic’s efforts to both safely and efficiently test for COVID cases and slow the spread of illness in the community. Since the VTU opened in March of 2020, staff have cared for than 20,000 patients there. During the busiest days last year, they saw more than 200 patients a day. Billings Clinic team members from Express Care, SameDay Care and many other units shifted from their daily jobs to work at the VTU and provide this incredibly important resource. This courageous team put the needs of patients and the community first while providing a valuable service.