A large tent has been set up outside Salem Township Hospital to handle overflow respiratory cases if the COVIS-19 hits hard locally.
Salem Township Hospital President Kendra Taylor says the hospital is prepared for the Coronavirus.
She reports a number of actions have been taken. No visitors are currently being allowed for the protection of everyone and entry to the hospital can only be gained through the emergency room entrance.
“The wellness screening we have established one specific point of entry into the hospital where we will be screening all individuals entering. We are also doing wellness screenings on employees twice a day, once at the start of their shift and once at the end. This is a respiratory symptoms questioning as well as active temperature monitoring and has canceled all elective surgical cases.
Taylor says if you have the symptoms of the Coronavirus, you should not directly come to the hospital.
“Individuals that potentially do think they could have coronavirus should reach out to their health care provider and receive guidance from them. And not just report directly to the hospital if you are experiencing symptoms where you need urgent care we, of course, will help with that but we ask that if you do have those symptoms you tell them at your presentation so we can make sure we are following all the necessary procedures that we have in place.”
Taylor says they have established separate waiting rooms in both the emergency room and rural health clinic for those with respiratory and non-respiratory symptoms. The hospital is also practicing social distancing and has a disinfectant protocol in place.
Taylor says they can also do testing for COVID-19 through the hospital’s own lab or through the Illinois Department of Public Health. She reports drive through tests are available as an outpatient with a Doctor’s order.
Taylor explained the purpose of the large tent that has been set up outside the emergency room.
“The tent would act as a place for overflow of patients from the emergency department of course. We would have the most critical individuals within the department but those with less severe symptoms, trying to keep them out of the hospital to prevent contamination, it could be a place for them and that would be the plan.”
Taylor says the tent is heated and air-conditioned.
She reports the hospital is having some problems obtaining personal protective equipment as emergency responders are having across the country.
Taylor is appreciative of local residents who have volunteered to help make homemade masks. She notes they will not meet the normal standards, but if they run out of the regulation masks they are better than nothing.