Updated, 9:30 p.m. Wednesday:

WENATCHEE — Confluence Health is establishing a dedicated hotline staffed by nurses 24/7 to triage potential COVID-19 patients.

The hotline will be available at (509) 663-8711 starting at 7 a.m. Thursday, Confluence Health spokesman Andrew Canning said Wednesday.

People who think they may have COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, are asked to call the hotline before coming to a healthcare facility.

Local residents seeking treatment can call this number directly instead of the state Department of Health’s hotline, which has been receiving high call volumes, Canning said.

The organization asks people with general questions about the outbreak to first check its website before calling.

Confluence Health and Columbia Valley Community Health this week began to triage patients with possible COVID-19 outside of their buildings to limit spread.

A temporary triage tent was set up outside of Central Washington Hospital Monday night. It began operating Tuesday evening and had assessed six people by Wednesday afternoon, Canning said.

The hospital has one patient, a Grant County resident, who’s isolated and, health officials said Wednesday evening, tested “presumptive positively” for COVID-19.

There are four other Confluence Health patients who are being tested for the illness. All are being self-isolated in their homes.