Helping medical professionals during the coronavirus pandemic

Five on 2

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Hospitals across the country are facing the coronavirus pandemic head-on and there are things we can all do to help take some of the stress off of them.

Chief Medical Officer at Miami Valley Hospital, Dr. Marc Belcastro, joined 2 NEWS Tuesday to discuss those needs.

Tuesday, we learned of the first confirmed case in Darke County, also the first in the Miami Valley.

When asked how many coronavirus tests had been administered within Premier Health Network at their testing site in the UD Arena parking lot, Dr. Belcastro said, “I don’t have a number today on a number of tests. I know between 11 and noon today I had heard that there were in the 40s number of people that had driven through in the first half of the day, but I did not get an updated number on the total from the day.”

He says his biggest concern over the next few weeks is keeping an eye on the number of positive cases in the state and hoping that the rate of rising cases slows enough to confirm Governor DeWine’s actions were warranted.

Some models indicate that 40 to 70 percent of the public could catch the coronavirus. Such a large amount would likely put a strain on healthcare systems.

“Each of our hospitals within Premier, and I’m sure many other hospital systems, are creating dedicated units with the proper equipment and a limited number of people that would care for patients should we have a surge. We are paying attention to those models and planning for a worst-case scenario by even looking at, would there be any off-site locations that we might be able to equip and use for patients,” Dr. Belcastro said.

He stressed that if you are experiencing mild symptoms, you should stay home and treat them the way you normally would as if you had the flu. Reach out to your healthcare provider with any questions.

“If they do seem sick enough that they need tested, then they can put in the recommendation for them to go to that site and have the initial screening test done for flu and some other viruses, and if those are negative, then the coronavirus would be tested for.”

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