Huntsville Hospital is seeing a 70 percent decrease in patients seeking coronavirus tests at its fever and flu clinic. With less demand for the clinic located along Governors Drive, the hospital will scale back on the number of employees at the site.
Huntsville Hospital leaders say they reevaluate the fever and flu clinic every week, collecting data on how many patients are using the service. They tell WAAY31 it will remain open as long as the community needs it.
"It's slowed down over the last couple of weeks, we started out very busy, about 250 patients or so a day, and now we are seeing between 50 and 75 a day," Senior Vice President of Huntsville Hospital Operations, Tracy Doughty, said.
Doughty says 8,000 patients have received coronvirus tests across the entire hospital system. However, the number of patients needing the service has fallen.
"We were open very early when the pandemic started, so we were able to see a ton of patients in the beginning, we also had a drive-thru at John Hunt Park and of course our E.R. was open, so we think we got a bulk of the patients," Doughty said.
The fever and flu clinic has served more than 2,000 patients, with less than 100 testing positive for coronavirus.
"I think it's had a huge impact on our community and allow our people to get back to their normal lives. We've seen about 2,100 patients, and about 75 or 80 positive patients, so we were able to get those patients quarantined fast and get them away from other folks," Doughty said.
Hospital workers aren't seeing that same rush of patients. Doughty says the decrease in demand will ultimately force the hospital to reduce the number of staff at the sites.
"As the demand decreases, we will decrease the staff load here as well, and we'll let them go back to their regular jobs," Doughty said.
The fever and flu clinic is open Monday through Friday, from 9 AM to 5 PM.
There is no clear timeline of when it will officially be removed.