Spectrum Health closes screening tents Sunday due to high winds

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Spectrum Health shut down its COVID-19 screening tents Sunday as potentially strong winds sweep through the area.

Spectrum Health spokeswoman Sue Krieger says all of the tents will not be staffed Sunday based on weather predictions. She anticipates the screening tents will reopen Monday morning.

A March 18, 2020 photo shows the inside of one of Spectrum Health’s COVID-19 screening tents, located outside its emergency room at the Butterworth hospital in Grand Rapids.

In the meantime, anyone with serious symptoms is encouraged to go to the emergency room or call Spectrum Health’s hotline at 616.391.2380.

Krieger says Spectrum Health was in constant contact with the National Weather Service for three days before making the decision to close the tents. The NWS advised the high winds could cause issues with temporary structures supporting the pandemic response.

>>Inside woodtv.com: Storm Team 8 Forecast | Weather alerts

A low-pressure system tracking to the north of West Michigan is leading to strong southwest winds, prompting a wind advisory until 8 p.m.

Wind speeds ramped up through the morning and will peak in the afternoon and evening. Sustained winds will reach 20-30 mph, with possible gusts of 40-50 mph.

These winds will be strong enough to knock down tree limbs. Drivers of larger vehicles will want to use caution, especially when traveling on north-south roads.

There is also a Lakeshore Flood Advisory in effect Sunday as the strong winds churn up high waves. Beach erosion and lakeshore flooding will be possible.

Winds will begin to subside a bit Sunday night. It will still be breezy, but below advisory criteria.