EVANS COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - As the rapid spread of the coronavirus continues, we all know nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals are on the front lines.
With supplies dwindling, it’s leaving some rural hospitals scrambling to make sure they have enough supplies. Evans Memorial Hospital is one of them. The CEO at Evans Memorial said they are trying to be proactive rather than reactive just in case the virus does hit the community.
With federal leaders suspending all elective surgeries and all non-urgent testing, it's leaving hospitals like Evans Memorial at a disadvantage.
"That has really, right now, hurt our hospital and we see it hurting our hospital in the next few weeks,” Evans Memorial CEO Nikki NeSmith said.
NeSmith says with a lot of uncertainty looming, they're financial situation is only going to get worse and staff hours have also been affected.
"Our emergency department is continuing to stay busy however our surgery department and our out-patient areas that usually provide majority of the revenue for our hospital have been drastically down, because patients have been canceling because they're trying to quarantine at home,” NeSmith said.
With supplies eventually becoming limited they have started conserving the supplies they already have, but eventually they're going to need more; which is why they are desperately seeking donations.
"We've had them donate mask covers that will cover over these N95 masks to try to extend the life of them, so if you're taking care of a patient and they maybe cough onto your mask then this can be removed, laundered, so that this mask is still good and you can wear it to another patients room. It's not contaminated,” Business Development Director Lisa Ryles said.
Ryles said they weren't able to pre-order an abundance of supplies, so right now anything helps.
"We do understand there's been a lot of talk on Facebook about these are not the best option, that maybe they don't protect us as good as a N95, but if you're a nurse and you have to go care for that patient you would rather have this than nothing,” Ryles said.
Ryles said they are also looking for disposable gowns. Meanwhile, they have already suspended all visitors from coming into the hospital except for occasions where certain visitors are there for patients underage.