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MORRISON – Morrison Community Hospital has set up separate clinic for patients experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus.

The 25-bed hospital also has an emergency preparedness plan in place to accommodate an expected increase in patients: Its first-floor clinic will hold 38 more beds if needed, CEO Pam Pfister said.

The hospital reopened space on campus formally occupied by its family health clinic, off of Knox Street, for patients with symptoms of COVID-19 that is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Those arriving are asked to stay in their vehicles and register over the phone. A provider will decide, based on symptoms, whether the patient will be screened curbside or in the clinic.

The family health clinic, which was open daily, now is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday only.

Anyone who needs to go to the emergency room for any illnesses must call 815-772-5522 before arriving.

All visitors and nonessential vendors are banned from the hospital, and people are asked not to bring anyone with them when they arrive.

“This is the best clinical practice to avoid any additional contact with potentially infected patients,” Pfister said.

The hospital is not allowing volunteers or nursing students to work at this time, either, Pfister said.

MCH does need donations of personal protective equipment, mainly gowns, masks and gloves.

Illinois has an average of 2.5 hospital beds and 3.42 certified physicians per 1,000 people, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation; ranking 12th-best in the nation for hospital capacity. The nationwide average is 2.96 physicians and 2.4 hospital beds for every 1,000 persons.

More information

The clinic at Morrison Community hospital is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Patients experiencing coronavirus symptoms are to drive to the hospital’s former clinic area off of Knox Street and call 815-772-5511 upon arrival.

Find Morrison Community Hospital on Facebook, go to morrisonhospital.com or call the above number for more information.

For more local news, visit SaukValley.com at https://www.saukvalley.com.

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