Huntsville Hospital launches coronavirus mobile testing unit

The unit is traveling around north Huntsville, and it tests about 50 people per day.

Posted: Mar 25, 2020 4:43 PM
Updated: Mar 25, 2020 4:58 PM

Huntsville Hospital is making it easier for people to get tested for Coronavirus. David Spillers, the CEO, said the hospital now has a bus that's helping test people in north Huntsville for the virus.

The hospital said the mobile clinic can test about 50 people per day, and it has either a nurse practitioner or doctor on board.

Spillers said the hospital system is working with churches in north Huntsville to organize the effort. Staff on the mobile unit's tested about 100 people in the last two days. The Fever and Flu Clinic on Governors Drive has tested about 200 people a day.

Spillers explained the mobile medical unit is similar to that clinic, but is set up for those who can't travel to there.

"We coordinated that yesterday with a church in north Huntsville. They helped identify those people who needed to be tested. Needed to get there and help get them there. We collect all that information when we run that test, and we get those results directly back to the patients based of the information that they give us when the register at our medical mobile unit," he said.

Spillers said there are 4 Coronavirus patients who are hospitalized. He said he believes all are using ventilators. Right now, there are 41 other patients in the hospital waiting to find out if they are positive for Coronavirus. He said 16 of those are in Decatur Morgan hospital. 10 of those people are here in Madison County.

Spillers said while they wait for results, nurses and doctors have to use personal protective equipment when interacting with the 41 hospitalized patients. He said tests for those patients are sent to a private lab at Hudson Alpha to be processed because the sooner they get results. He said the sooner staff can stop using up so much protective gear when interacting with patients who test negative.

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