Huntsville Hospital talks resources, hospitalized Coronavirus patients

Currently, there are about 350 fewer patients in the hospital than one week ago

Posted: Mar 23, 2020 5:40 PM
Updated: Mar 24, 2020 7:27 AM

Huntsville Hospital announced Monday three of the 21 people with Coronavirus in Madison County are currently hospitalized.

David Spillers, Huntsville Hospital CEO, said Monday one person is hospitalized here are Huntsville Hospital Main and the other two are at the hospital campus in Madison. He said at least two of those people came to the hospital for an unrelated medical issue and later tested positive for Coronavirus. Spillers said Huntsville Hospital is focused on getting patients who don't need to be hospitalized for other illnesses or injuries back home.

Currently, there are about 350 fewer patients in the hospital than one week ago. The hospital is also working with local surgery centers to try to obtain additional respirators so they have then if they are needed.Right now, the hospital says it a decent supply of personal protective gear such as masks and gowns, but Spillers said he has noticed some workers have started to make their own.

"I have seen people walk around the hospital today with colorful masks on. We aren't going to tell them to take it off. That's okay. If you want to go home and knit a mask, sew a mask and then put it on. Everybody could do that. No harm, no foul," he said.

Spillers explained as long as homemade masks meet CDC guidelines they will be allowed to be worn. If personal protective gear supply does run out, the the hospital said homemade masks are a better option than no mask at all. At this point, he said there's no shortage of supplies. However, for those who are hospitalized with serious symptoms, the sooner the hospital gets negative results back, the sooner staff can stop using PPE like masks and face shields when treating them that puts less stress on the protective gear situation.

The hospital said Monday it is using a private lab in Birmingham to process Coronavirus tests. Spillers said they are getting results back in hours unlike the state lab that can take up to 3 days to get results.

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