CLINTON — Warner Hospital has erected a tent for the second time this year in response to the novel coronavirus.
Last spring a tent was erected in preparation for Covid-19 testing but it was “never needed because everyone stayed home,” said Warner Hospital Chief Executive Officer Paul Skowron. “Now it’s different. People are out and about.”
Since schools opened a few weeks ago, the hospital has seen “an influx each day from family members with children with symptoms.,” Skowron said.
Warner Hospital’s physical size could not accommodate the influx of people and still maintain proper social distancing, Skowron explained, and people were being asked to wait in their cars or outside on the benches.
“This (virus) is probably not going away in a couple weeks,” Skowron said. In addition to school children, nursing home resident testing has also increased.
Much of the increase, he explained, is due to Warner Hospital providing same-day results. Public and free testing sites are running 3 to 7 days for results.
“Word has gotten around,” Skowron said, “and we’re getting some spillage from outside the county. Some people are coming from a good distance away.”
Warner Hospital staff are doing their best to manage the increase in both testing and people. A patient flow manager was recently hired to intercept people at the hospital entrance for better direction to the services they need and to keep the traffic flow moving in one direction.
“I hope we don’t have to use it,” Skowron said of the tent, but the hospital has possession of it from its Region 6 Emergency Management Group for two months. “If we need it longer, we’ll request it.”
The 20’ x 40’ tent will open Sept. 21 and will provide Covid-19 testing for people with doctors’ orders only. Free testing will not be available at this site. The hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday with a half hour break from 12-12:30 p.m. No appointments are needed.
Doctors’ orders may be faxed to the hospital at 217-937-5210.