Huntsville Hospital working to conserve PPE and COVID-19 tests

Store of coronavirus test kits in Huntsville.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - There are concerns across the country about the supply of personal protective equipment and COVID-19 tests.

Joyce Thomas, a registered nurse and the Manager of Emergency Preparedness for Huntsville Hospital, said they have enough coronavirus test kits to make it through Wednesday, but everyday after that is a bit uncertain.

As far as PPE, Thomas said Huntsville Hospital has an adequate supply, for now.

“We have adequate at the time, but if we have a huge influx of people who come in that’s not sick we have to treat them as if they are positive, so that uses PPE," Thomas said. "So we really encourage people to not seek treatment unless they have the symptoms, so we don’t use of supplies unnecessarily.”

She said if people without symptoms get tested it could end up being a waste of PPE and a test if they turn out negative.

Thomas said results take 3 to 5 days and while you wait for results people should be quarantined.

Thomas said the test involves swabbing pretty far up your nostril and can be uncomfortable, but she said it’s very important it is taken correctly.

At the drive up clinics at John Hunt Park and on Governor’s Dr. they have a team of people working with a single patient to make sure everything is done correctly.

“When the car comes in we have four people who go out and do the swab but we also have one person that visualizes," Thomas said. “We’re watching for safety and we’re watching to make sure you get that swab if it looks like there might be a problem.”

Thomas said so far they have had no issues with a bad swab in Huntsville.

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