‘There’s a real surge coming’: Watch Abilene hospitals discuss preparation for COVID-19 virus


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Officials with both Abilene hospitals held a joint press conference about their preparation for the COVID-19 virus, saying that although “there’s a real surge coming,” they are as ready as they can be.

Hendrick Medical Center CEO Brad Holland and Abilene Regional Medical Center CEO Mike Murphy lead the conference Tuesday morning, both stressing they’ve made serious changes to the way their hospitals operate in response to to the virus.

Both Hendrick and Abilene Regional have strictly limited access to their facilities and are doing their best to restrict the number people on campus.

All elective procedures have also been postponed in an effort to save supplies for medical emergencies.

The Chief of Medical Staff for each hospital also spoke, saying they’re taking preventative measures as well, from limiting the number of staff in each room to 8, to standing 6 feet apart when possible, to conducting revolutionary virtual visits and physician’s rounds with patients when necessary.

Testing and screening was also a big topic discussed at the conference, with every official present saying that testing supplies are limited and not everyone needs to be tested.

Anyone who thinks they may be at risk for COVID-19 can now be screened before even leaving their home.

Hendrick Medical Center has a text screening service – just text (325)216-4824 to get asked a series of questions.

Those who wish to call can dial (325)437-8602 for a telemedicine health screening.

Screening participants will be told they have a low risk of having the virus, be instructed to self-quarantine at home, or be directed to the nearest health center, where they will be administered an actual test.

There are currently no labs reading test results in Abilene, so they are being outsourced.

Officials say results are taking 1 day to 1 week on average to return.

Even though there have been no positive tests in Abilene so far, the hospitals say they are taking every precaution possible to lessen the impact of the inevitable.

To review the full press conference, which has additional information on Abilene’s response to COVID-19, watch the video above.

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