Hospital board discusses virus planning

Ray Scherer


The Hermann Area District Hospital board met Monday night to review the facility's responses thus far to the coronavirus threat.


A coronavirus testing center has been established at the former Hermann Medical Arts clinic on Sixth Street. Hospital Administrator Dan McKinney praised efforts by staff to set up the location, which had its first day of tests. McKinney also told the board testing for influenza is available at the site, with anyone applicable directed to the proper treatment. Hermann Police Chief Marlon Walker assisted with security on scene.


McKinney said it's hoped results from the testing will become available as soon as possible. The site will continue at the clinic for the time being, although hospital officials continue to work on plans for an eventual demolition of the structure.


Hospital patients may not have any visitors. It's mandatory policy now for those staff members who have contact with the patients to wear masks, according to Hospitalist Dr. Jaya Parker. All guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are being followed.


"I haven't heard anything from the state as far as any money coming our direction," said McKinney, referring to possible sources of aid for the hospital's efforts against coronavirus.


Community efforts to provide homemade masks to the hospital were recognized, and information is available on the website for creating masks that can be used by staff. McKinney said an attempt is being researched to discover which hospital business operations can be handled via a cloud-based network, given the fact that non-essential personnel have for the moment been told not to show up for their jobs.


Parker asked the board to consider possible cost-effective solutions of appropriately partitioning off the hospital, if necessary, should the need arise to close off any infected patients from the remainder of the building.