SULLIVAN, Ind. (WTHI) -- It’s a challenging time for healthcare facilities.
Area hospitals are preparing for more COVID-19 cases.
That means making changes to how patients interact with staff and opening up temporary clinical areas.
Sullivan County Community Hospital opened a drive-thru lab last week.
Chief Nursing Officer Lori Resler says this is to test for respiratory illnesses.
A physician's order is required.
“We established that lab to continue to keep patients safe, as well as, healthcare workers. So by focusing those types of testing at a drive-thru lab, we keep the traffic through the hospital lab at a minimum,” Resler said.
The hospital added a second tent to the property on Tuesday.
“A tent was erected yesterday, and that is a tent for us to run a respiratory clinic and triage of those patients out of," Resler told News 10.
This tent is currently non-operational.
One of the challenges that the hospital is facing, like other healthcare facilities, is a shortage of PPE, personal protective equipment.
“You know, our community has been wonderful. We have had many donations. We had many people volunteer their time or services to ensure that non-essential, non-clinical employees have masks to wear," Resler said.
The hospital has not experienced its peak in cases yet.
“I think in general the community has heeded the warning about staying in, staying home. And so, yes, the majority of people that we’re seeing at this point are respiratory illness-related, and we have not seen our surge here," Resler said.
News 10 has heard from many of you wondering why you may not qualify for a COVID-19 test.
As we have shared with you before, testing supplies are limited.
To qualify for testing from the state, you must be displaying COVID-19 symptoms and fall into one of these categories: if you’re hospitalized, high health risk, a nursing home resident, staff at a nursing home, a healthcare worker, or a first responder.
People who do not meet the state’s standards but need a test might be eligible for an outpatient commercial test.
This requires an order from a doctor.
Resler says even commercial test kits are limited.
”We are counting and looking at those supplies daily to even see how many individuals we have the capability of testing that day,” Resler described.
If you are displaying symptoms and fall into these categories, reach out to your local physician about testing.
The Indiana State Department of Health also offers a 24/7 hotline for the public.
You can reach them at 877-826- 0011.