Huntsville Hospital preparing for influx of coronavirus patients

At a news conference Saturday, Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers discussed the steps the hospital is taking in regards to the coronavirus.

Posted: Mar 29, 2020 1:05 PM

As more people test positive for coronavirus in Madison County, Huntsville Hospital is doing what it can to stay ahead of the curve. 

Right now, there are 500 patients there, and only five of them are being treated for the virus. However, the hospital is preparing for more. 

CEO David Spiller said they have already tested more than 3,000 people and expects that number to increase. He said Saturday at a news conference, even if there is a rise in positive cases, he is hoping the number of hospitalizations remains low. 

He said this will allow them to remain stocked up on necessary supplies. Right now, the hospital is using all its resources to get more bed, masks, and help.

This is because a patient treated for coronavirus requires far more resources.

"They probably use 10 times as much resources as a regular patient," Spiller said. "So about every 10 COVID patients would be the equivalent of 100 normal patients and they also stay in the hospital for 10-12 days."

Spillers said they have already found hundreds more beds. He added businesses across North Alabama are helping out by sending hand sanitizer and face masks for first responders. 

However, the hospital does have a shortage of coronavirus tests. The testing site at John Hunt Park will be closed Monday. 

The hospital is getting the kits from a lab in Birmingham, but there is now a shortage. He said they are hoping to re-open by Tuesday. For now, the flu and fever clinic on Governor's Drive will remain open Monday.

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