Tent put up

A tent has been set up outside Fulton County Health Center in case of a surge of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases are seen. Steve McCoy, director of marketing and planning for the health center, said the facility is not seeing increases now, but this is part of the hospital’s plan.

WAUSEON — The Fulton County Health Center is continuing its preparations in case it sees a surge of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, including erecting a tent outside the hospital.

“We’re not seeing a surge, but if there was a surge that might be a step that we’d have to take,” said Steve McCoy, director of marketing and planning for the health center.

If needed, the tent would be utilized for screenings of patients prior to them entering the hospital, ensuring proper protections are in place for both staff and other patients in the facility.

McCoy added there was a discussion in the emergency operations center about when to construct the tent and it was decided to go ahead and do it now.

“It’s better to have it up now, and people are aware of it,” McCoy said. “If, and when something would occur, it’s just another tool that we have.”

McCoy said the health center’s website, www.fultoncountyhealthcenter.org, will be continually updated with new information about the virus, and a special pop-up window is set up to direct visitors to that section as soon as they access the site. He added the hospital is experiencing an increase in phone calls with people asking questions about the virus, but the Ohio Department of Health has a dedicated hotline number at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634) that is set up to handle those questions.

McCoy emphasized individuals who are concerned they may have COVID-19 — symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath — should first call their health care provider and get directions on what they need to do.

“You just don’t want to show up first,” McCoy said, adding that applies for the emergency room as well. “Call a provider or somebody before you go anywhere.”

McCoy noted the state has restricted testing for COVID-19 due to concerns with supplies to those hospitalized or health care workers, so a test for the virus won’t be given to everyone.

Shortages of supplies have continually been a concern throughout the pandemic, and McCoy said the hospital has enough supplies to meet its current demand with more coming in and community businesses — such as construction companies — being asked to provide their supplies to county emergency management agencies via a directive of the state. A different directive ordering elective surgeries be postponed is also intended to free up supplies.

Email comments to jenl@northwestsignal.net.

E-mail comments to jenl@northwestsignal.net.

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