Area hospitals prepare for coronavirus outbreak

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(WEHT)– Hospitals around the country are preparing for an increase in patients in the next few weeks and some of them are concerned they may not have the beds to handle it.

So how does Evansville stand on this? Officials with Deaconess hospital say they’re looking at ways to prepare for a possible overload. Paying special attention to the labor force– logistics and supplies to make sure they’re ready if it comes down to it.

Everyone’s been asked to stay inside and social distance to help contain the coronavirus.
It’s one way to help protect the health care system and keep it working.

“By taking these measures it slows down that spread and flatten the curve,” Brad Scheu says.

Also, to keep hospitals from looking like it has in parts of Italy and other countries. Overwhelmed and in crisis. With too many sick patients to take care of.

Doctor Brad Schue with Deaconess in Evansville says they’ve seen what could happen, so they’re preparing for the worst.

“To have the right machines to have the right protective equipment and have the right staff we’ve already redirected some of our staff to different departments that are directed for just taking care of these patients,” he says. “So that we can handle the volume of patients that are coming in at a time.”

To that extent, they’ve followed their own advice and limited the number of people within their walls.

“A lot of the interaction that we’re having on campus has much decreased to that’s benefiting the community as well,” Schue says.

Schue says with orders coming from those in government to stay inside– he says this is time more than ever for people to be listening.

“Just to slow down the spread on the spread. If we can slow down the spread of this virus, our health systems are preparing and are prepared to handle the patients that do come one.”

Deaconess officials are hesitant to put a number on how many patients would push them over the edge but say they feel they’re prepared to the best of their abilities.

Schue says he’s confident that community has prepared and is listening to the pleas for social distance and limited interaction and that’s what’s going to keep us all safe and healthy. But also keep our health care system working.

Ascension St. Vincent has sent our new releases on its situation. You can check on it’s handling of COVID-19 here.

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(This story was originally published on March 23, 2020)

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