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Clark Memorial Hospital to use mobile unit for coronavirus screenings

The health department has moved its mobile unit to the hospital to be used for screening of coronavirus cases.

CLARK COUNTY, Ind. — As cases of COVID19 climb, Clark County health officials are working to build an extra level of protection for patients and workers at Clark Memorial Hospital.

The health department has moved its mobile unit to the hospital to be used for screening of coronavirus cases.

Health officials say the move is just to be prepared.

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“Preparation not panic,” said Clark County Health Officer Eric Yazel. “This is out here so that we can anticipate any scenario that might arise, so it’s here and ready.”

Yazel says for now Clark Memorial Hospital has been able to handle the number of people who have needed screening for the coronavirus.

“But we do anticipate a scenario where we might see more cases and might have to start utilizing this mobile unit,” he said.

The Indiana State Department of Health confirmed Wednesday that four more people have tested positive for COVID 19 in the Hoosier state. That brings the total in Indiana to 10. There are still no confirmed cases of the virus in Clark County.

Yazel says the health department decided to move the mobile unit to the hospital because of what they’ve been seeing from areas dealing with more cases.

“We’ve been watching data from Washington state and the other countries and the one lesson we’ve learned is that keeping our providers out of quarantine and our nursing staff out of quarantine is the best way to combat this early in the game,” said Yazel. “This is not an indication that we think things are more severe than we originally thought. We’ve just used some of the lessons we’ve learned across the nation to enact here in southern Indiana as well.”

He says the hospital will be able to do screening inside of the unit to keep patients out of common areas.

“This is not for community-wide testing. It’s for screening our emergency department patients before they go into the hospital,” he said. “We wanted to get this out here and be ready. This is what this is for, so if you’re not going to utilize it in a situation like this, I don’t know when you would.”

The unit isn’t being used yet. Yazel says the hospital is still working out some logistics on how to staff it.

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