Illinois Valley Community Hospital administered its 1,000th test for the novel coronavirus over the Independence Day weekend.
Although it’s a test for a disease almost no one had ever heard of
six months ago and in terms of quantity is still well down on the list
of diagnostic tests performed at IVCH every day, the covid-19 nose swab
has taken on an out-sized importance in life at the hospital, even though
only a few of its patients have tested positive for the virus.
Tommy Hobbs, IVCH chief executive officer, says there’s good news
in knowing that small downstate hospitals such as IVCH haven’t been
overrun with coronavirus patients, as some observers had feared might happen.
Of 1052 tests administered at IVCH through July 6, only 15 patients tested
positive, leaving 999 patients with negative results and 38 patients still
waiting for their test results to come back. That means just 1.4 percent
of the patients tested for covid-19 at IVCH have tested positive for the disease.
Hobbs is encouraged that the number of new coronavirus cases statewide
seems to be trending downward. In a message to IVCH employees last week,
he said “the overall trend continues to be down from the peak, but
we appear to have hit a plateau.”
Stringent safety precautions are still in effect at the hospital even though
elective surgeries have resumed and visitor restrictions have been eased somewhat.
“Everyone who enters IVCH will be asked to wear a face mask into
the foreseeable future because the health and safety of our patients and
staff comes first,” says Hobbs.