Ellis provides hospital update

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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The Brewton City Council conducted its regular meeting on Mon. in the Municipal Court Room.

Practicing social distancing, the members were spaced adequately 6 ft. apart and wearing masks as safety precautions. The meeting was published online for the public.

During the meeting, D. W. McMillan Memorial Hospital Director of Nurses Bob Ellis gave an update regarding the hospitals approach to the coronavirus.

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“On March 17, we began screening outside. We closed our front door and began screening on the north end,” said Ellis.

Giving a brief timeline of the changes the hospital has made over the past 6 weeks, Ellis explained the testing procedures and protocol of the hospital at this time. According to Ellis, since March 17, everyone entering the building is screened. Screening included inquiring about symptoms and checking the temperature of every individual. “ER patients that came in when asked these questions. If they had anything or said, ‘Yes,’ or had a temperature, they were then escorted around to the other end of our building where we set up a secondary treatment area,” said Ellis.

Next, a doctor or nurse tested the patient on the spot, keeping the patient from ever entering the hospital.

Currently the ER is staffed 24 hours a day. As of the council meeting Mon. night,  Ellis explained that the hospital has seen 17 suspected COVID-19 patients at the hospital to date. He confirmed 15 of the 17 patients tested negative for the virus.

“We have 2 in the hospital now with test results pending,” reported Ellis.

“As of 1:30 this afternoon, the ADPH says we have 26 cases and 1 death, I can tell you that death did not occur in either one of our Escambia County hospitals,” added Ellis. In his remarks, Ellis thanked many members of the community for assistance and donations during this time.

In other business, the council received an update regarding the potential funding the city could receive in the coming year from the federal government as COVID-19 relief.

“The federal government has passed several bills funding for this COVID virus. We hired a company to help us lobby for any funds we could possible get from that,” said Mayor Yank Lovelace.

Proving the update, Chief Financial Officer Brooke Hartin shared some information.

“Our focus right now is COVID-19 funding. Unfortunately, right now the funds coming down from the federal level are going to the state and the state is giving out the funds,” said Hartin.

Hartin explained that the situation is ever changing.

“I know there has been a push for funding for municipalities. Right now it is really still up in the air. It is changing everyday. I have an email from them everyday explaining what is happening on a federal level,” explained Hartin.

Following her update, Lovelace reminded everyone that the drive-thru food bank will continue this Thurs. at 10 a.m. at New Beginnings.