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KDMC officer: City ‘not out of the woods yet’

The COVID-19 problem won’t be over anytime soon.

That was the message Brookhaven’s Board of Aldermen heard Tuesday from King’s Daughters Medical Center Chief Operating Officer Tom Hood.

Hood explained to the board that while everything may not be normal now, the stay-at-home order would be essential in order to return to normal.

“There is a stay-at-home order, there is a shelter-in-place order, that’s how we flatten the curve,” Hood said. “We distance ourselves from each other. And as difficult as that may be, but that’s how we do this.”

Hygiene is especially important during this time, and products such as hand sanitizer are low in supply. Hood shared alternative options with the board.

“Soap and water works just as well,” Hood said. “That’s what it’s gonna take to fight this.”

KDMC has five ventilators, with three being in use at this time. There are nine patients in the medical unit and five patients in the intensive care unit. There are also seven patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 at the hospital.

“The hospital is busy, the clinics are busy,” Hood said. “We’re trying to take care of as many patients as we can.”

In order to be tested, an individual has to meet the criteria due to the number of tests being limited. There is a mobile screening center set up outside the hospital.

As of this meeting, the hospital was down to an estimated 80 test kits. They may not receive a new supply of test kits until early May.

“Not everyone is going to be tested,” Hood said.

According to Hood, KDMC has received an alternative COVID-19 test from the State Department of Health that uses a saline solution. The Department of Health is currently using this as a valid test.

On March 15, KDMC stopped allowing visitors into the hospital.

“We anticipate this to go on for a good bit longer,” Hood said.

According to the information Hood received from the governor’s office, April 16-18 appears to be the peak of the outbreak.

“We’re still not out of the woods yet, by any stretch of the imagination,” Hood said.

“We’re vigilant about this process moving forward,” Hood said.

As of this meeting, Lincoln County had 21 confirmed tests. Statewide, there were 59 confirmed deaths related to COVID-19, with one death being from Lincoln County.

One patient at KDMC who tested positive for COVID-19 was taken off of the ventilator and is on the way to recovery.

 

Story by Gracie Byrne