Stoughton’s Neighborhood Free Health Clinic is closed for in-person consultations amid concerns over the spread of COVID-19.

Clinic staff will still be available to work with patients over the phone, Tina DeGroot, a nurse practitioner at the clinic, told the Hub on Monday, March 23.

Staff will triage phone calls of both old and new patients and either provide advice over the phone or on video call or refer them to another practitioner, DeGroot said.

“If people have questions or need help, they should call us,” DeGroot said.

Gov. Tony Evers ordered all non-essential businesses in the state closed Tuesday, March 24, as the state has continued to restrict mass gatherings and encourage people to avoid close contact with one another because of the highly contagious nature of the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. The illness, which was declared a pandemic March 11 by the World Health Organization, causes respiratory distress, in addition to flu-like symptoms.

Clinic coordinator Cindy Anderson noted the clinic only treats non-acute conditions such as hypertension, asthma and depression. She said this means patients usually get help managing long-term conditions, and this will continue to be the case for the immediate future.

Anderson said the clinic treats anyone who has no insurance or has extremely high deductibles. It provides services such as screenings, counseling and medication refills and typically is open two days a month.

The clinic opened a renovated building late last year and has been going through a rebranding effort.

DeGroot said she encouraged anyone who qualifies to get in touch with the clinic for either physical long-term healthcare needs or behavioral health issues. Given the psychological challenges faced by many who are practicing social distancing, she said, getting treatment for such issues is of added importance.

“We want to be able to help them,” said DeGroot.

The clinic recently hired a counselor who can conduct sessions over the phone as part of his practice.

For information, contact the clinic at (608) 205-0505 or freehealthclinicinstoughton@gmail.com

Renee Hickman can be contacted at renee.hickman@wcinet.com or follow her on Twitter at @ReneeNHickman