STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Decatur Morgan Hospital staff uses protective gear during coronavirus outbreak

PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment, is designed to protect the health and safety of medical employees who may come in contact with the the virus.

Posted: Mar 19, 2020 9:32 PM
Updated: Mar 20, 2020 8:13 AM

Doctors and nurses are risking their own health every day as they work to diagnose and treat patients, including those with coronavirus.

To keep themselves safe, they wear personal protective equipment, or PPE, with patients who show serious symptoms.

On Thursday, two employees from the emergency room at Decatur Morgan Hospital showed WAAY 31 what that equipment entails and how it protects them.

"That is how we protect our health care workers from the spread of diseases and illnesses such as COVID-19," said Carrie Wynn, the Director of Emergency Services.

Gown gloves, a face shield, and an N95 respiratory mask customized to fit each employee.

It's equipment that protects medical employees from contact with droplets of bodily fluids that come from patient coughs and sneezes.

"It's very important to protect our health care workers. We're going to need our front line health care workers in the field to be able to take care of the patients as we start to see a sicker population in our area," said Wynn.

Since Friday, Decatur-Morgan Hospital took specimens from 25 people with coronavirus symptoms. But the hospital says it can't test everyone who comes in with just minor symptoms.

"We have to maintain good supply of those now, but if we had a rush of people who weren't symptomatic wanting to be tested and we just opened that up then we have a problem," said Ed Nichols, the Community Relations Consultant for Decatur-Morgan Hospital.

"The patients that need to present themselves to the hospital are the people who are having severe respiratory symptoms. They are having difficulty breathing, a high grade fever with pain , chest tightness," said Wynn.

A new drive thru system is in place to separate severely ill patients from non emergencies in the hospital,

"We go out to your car at the drive thru. We take your information, we have you park and as soon as all of your paperwork is done we come out to your car, put your arm band on and take you straight to where you need to go," said Nichols.

With all of these protocols in place, nurses and doctors in the ER at Decatur-Morgan Hospital tell us they're just trying to protect the health and safety of their employees and any patients that comes into their facility.

Hospitals are reiterating how important it is that patients who do not have severe symptoms stay away from emergency rooms.

But if you are having chest pain, shortness of breath, or a high grade fever to get help immediately.

If your symptoms are not urgent, they advise you to contact your physician before coming to a hospital.

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 52°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 52°
Huntsville/Madison
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 45°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 52°
Fort Payne
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 55°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 498076

Reported Deaths: 10094
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson716711387
Mobile36294737
Madison32616468
Tuscaloosa24340421
Montgomery22739519
Shelby22174218
Baldwin19873289
Lee15039157
Calhoun13832293
Morgan13753254
Etowah13390325
Marshall11448211
Houston10124264
Elmore9483190
Limestone9420138
St. Clair9022227
Cullman8984182
Lauderdale8612214
DeKalb8489175
Talladega7606165
Walker6585259
Jackson6545104
Autauga632492
Blount6236127
Colbert6001121
Coffee5264103
Dale4671107
Russell406933
Franklin399878
Covington3993106
Chilton3898103
Escambia379173
Tallapoosa3622143
Clarke344053
Chambers3431111
Dallas3422142
Pike293373
Marion288695
Lawrence284985
Winston258368
Bibb246160
Geneva240370
Marengo238857
Pickens225457
Barbour213651
Hale212269
Fayette202057
Butler201466
Henry183541
Cherokee178039
Monroe166739
Randolph164840
Washington156836
Macon147745
Crenshaw146255
Clay145954
Cleburne139841
Lamar133733
Lowndes132751
Wilcox122925
Bullock117336
Conecuh107024
Perry106127
Sumter99732
Coosa90224
Greene88532
Choctaw55323
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 779449

Reported Deaths: 11501
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby876181509
Davidson81809871
Knox46250587
Hamilton40539463
Rutherford38563386
Williamson25382204
Sumner21448318
Montgomery17484213
Out of TN1706694
Wilson16510211
Unassigned15772127
Sullivan14431274
Blount14141183
Bradley12996141
Washington12818234
Maury12246163
Sevier12109164
Putnam10635170
Madison10123230
Robertson8997121
Hamblen8063165
Anderson8044158
Greene7309145
Tipton6962103
Coffee6418115
Dickson6256106
Gibson6196141
Cumberland6127122
Carter5990155
McMinn594592
Roane592696
Bedford5816120
Loudon571966
Jefferson5688119
Lawrence557483
Monroe536590
Warren532576
Hawkins527195
Dyer5242101
Franklin475785
Fayette468372
Obion436995
Lincoln415662
Rhea415273
Cocke401295
Cheatham394544
Marshall391956
Campbell381859
Weakley379359
Giles375297
Henderson362273
Carroll349181
White339366
Hardeman338864
Macon337273
Hardin331563
Lauderdale309642
Henry301275
Marion294744
Scott288144
Wayne287630
Overton285557
Claiborne283069
McNairy268353
Hickman266541
DeKalb266151
Haywood264960
Smith256936
Grainger244246
Trousdale239822
Morgan230338
Fentress229544
Johnson217138
Chester202348
Bledsoe201010
Crockett197547
Unicoi181447
Polk177722
Cannon176730
Union173033
Grundy169730
Lake167926
Sequatchie157327
Humphreys154921
Decatur153837
Benton151039
Lewis147425
Meigs126722
Jackson125634
Stewart124025
Clay107130
Houston103632
Perry103527
Moore94516
Van Buren79720
Pickett74623
Hancock49712

Community Events