Elmore Community

Daniel Dye / The Herald

Elmore Community Hospital currently has eight patients on isolation status and two of those patients are confirmed to have COVID-19 according to hospital admissinstrators.

As of Thursday afternoon, Elmore Community Hospital officials said it has eight patients currently on isolation status and two of those patients are confirmed to have COVID-19, according to a response supplied by director of operations Amanda Hannon and hospitalist Dr. Melissa Thompson.

The administrators said these patients received treatment for pneumonia, which is a medical complication a severe case of COVID-19 may cause, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Treatment for secondary pneumonia are typical," the administrators said in a statement. "This includes breathing treatments with inhalers and certain imaging depending on the needs of each patient. To name a few treatment options that are currently being used."

Hannon and Thompson said the hospital is licensed to have 69 beds, 26 private rooms and may expand the facility's medical and surgical capabilities to provide care, but there is not an intensive care unit.

"Because of this, we have a minimal number of ventilators," the statement said. "None of the patients that we currently have on isolation meet the requirements that it takes to be on a vent. If we see that a patient is (deteriorating) to the point that they need a ventilator, we will work with other hospitals to transfer them to those locations.

"We had a call (Wednesday) with the Alabama Hospital Association and they are monitoring the ventilator status for our state closely. At this time they feel we are in good shape on a state level."

As a result of not having an ICU, the administrators said they are working with other hospitals and nursing homes as having Elmore Community Hospital as a step-down unit for patients who are not critically ill.

While a shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE) and N95 masks used by medical staff to protect against contracting COVID-19 is a concern for the worldwide medical community, Hannon and Thompson said right now the hospital has enough inventory.

"Just like every hospital in the state and in the country, this will be a concern in the days to come," the release stated. "We are working closely with the Alabama Incident Management System (AIMS) on what are needs are and will be. Our regular supply vendors that we have worked with for many years are working diligently to keep us supplied with all that we need.

"We have also had a huge amount of support for some of the dialysis locations in the River Region area and from the Montgomery Surgical Center in Montgomery who have donated gowns and other forms of PPE."

The two indicated they are proud of the rural hospitals in the state that are helping during the coronavirus crisis.

"This is a great example of our value and how we can work together as a team for the well-being of our communities," the release said.