MeritCare Fargo Hospitals Evacuating Patients

After consulting with local and state emergency services, to ensure the safest possible evacuation of patients from the city, MeritCare is initiating the evacuations of hospital patients as of 8:30 p.m., Thursday, March 26.

After consulting with local and state emergency services, to ensure the safest possible evacuation of patients from the city, MeritCare is initiating the evacuations of hospital patients as of 8:30 p.m., Thursday, March 26.

MeritCare Hospital and MeritCare South University Hospital are starting the process of evacuating hospital patients out of the Fargo-Moorhead area tonight.

MeritCare is working with local and state emergency operations centers to coordinate the safest transfer of patients to available hospitals that will be able to continue their required care. Some of the hospitals include Abbot Northwestern, Minneapolis, North Country Hospital, Bemidji, Minn., Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, S.D., and St. Alexius, Bismarck, N.D.

MeritCare's first priority is ensuring a safe and orderly transfer for patients and their families. We ask the media's cooperation in helping maintain patients' privacy during this process. MeritCare will allow footage of the evacuation from an appropriate distance. A designated media area will be provided. Meet media relations at the MeritCare downtown Broadway Clinic entrance, 737 Broadway N. at 10:30 p.m. A news conference with local officials will be held at 11 p.m. in the Broadway Clinic lobby.

Please park in the drop-off entrance of Broadway clinic under the canopy. There is no parking available in the north ramp as we are using it to stage ambulances.

MeritCare is communicating directly with patients and their families regarding their transfer and plan for continued care. Patients are being transferred by LifeFlight, ambulances and buses. Medical providers including physicians, nurses and EMT's are accompanying patients, depending on the level of care necessary for each patient. Necessary medical equipment and supplies are also being transferred with each patient.

The number of patients being evacuated is 180 and includes patients with care needs ranging from minor to critical.

The Emergency Center at MeritCare's downtown location will remain open. We will be stabilizing patients and transporting them to other hospitals.

On Friday, MeritCare Southpointe and West Fargo Clinics will remain open for primary care walk-in care only; all other primary care locations in Fargo-Moorhead will be closed. Walk-In Clinic, Children's Walk-In Clinic and Fast Track locations will remain open. The Infusion Center will be operating out of the South University Day Unit for scheduled patients only and out-patient dialysis will be open.