Local health system hosts COVID-19 drill to prep medical teams

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) ----- "We're really ready. The preparation you see today, it's going to be needed."

As hospitals across the country see a massive spike in patients due to COVID-19, health systems like OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center look for ways to better serve its patients.

"We've been getting between 10-15 per day. I think we're going to see in the Rockford area some increase in activity in the next two weeks, and then God willing, we're going to see a tapering down. But, I am quite sure that this tent is going to be needed," said Dr. Stephen Bartlett.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Bartlett says the tent will help his team make quick, lifesaving decisions in a safe and controlled environment.

"What we're being most keen-eyed for is the person who presents where they're in trouble and they need to quickly be moved into the emergency room and get a more in-depth evaluation," said Dr. Bartlett.

Lead nurse practitioner Lauren Weber says it is a welcome addition.

"Oh, it's fantastic. I mean, when we get busy inside, we don't want all these patients sitting together, first of all, in the waiting room and infecting those who may not be here for those types of symptoms. So, if somebody comes in with, you know, some other symptom, say a GI bleed, we may not, we don't want them sitting next to a coronavirus type patient," said Weber.

Doctors recommend if you are concerned about symptoms, but aren't sure if you should go to the hospital, use telehealth services for an evaluation.