CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Officials with area hospitals are saying their mode of operation has changed from preparation to reaction to the potential high number of COVID-19 patients that could come.
" feel very confident in my colleagues at both hospitals as well at the university of Iowa and Mercy that we can handle any patient surge that we can see," Dr. Dustin Arnold, the Chief Medial Officer at Unity Point Health St. Luke's said.
Linn County Public Health Officials say they have been closely monitoring hospitalizations and have seen about 20 in the county so far. Four people have died as a result of contracting COVID-19 but 20 have also recovered from the virus. Right now hospital officials are reaching out to retired medical professionals, clinics and surgical centers not operating to built contingency plans in case of a large outbreak.
"We have contingency for off campus placement of patients that maybe COVID, non COVID patients and we also have contingencies for testing," Arnold said.
Off-site locations have also been selected according to Arnold but he would not disclose their potential sites as they might change depending on the need for patients. He added that their hospitals can handle a 100% increase in capacity with no problem and can double the services they normally deal with. It's a welcome sign for County Public Health officials as they try to keep the public informed and safe."
"We want to mind you, even if you are young or otherwise healthy you are at risk and your activities put others at risk," Linn County Public Health's Heather Meador said. "Its important that you do your part in slowing down the Corona Virus, stay home."