Williamsburg officials, community works to prepare rural hospital for COVID-19

VIDEO: Williamsburg officials, community works to prepare rural hospital for COVID-19

WILLIAMSBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The only hospital in Williamsburg County is working to prepare for more potential COVID-19 patients.

With limited resources, they’re asking for help from community members and county officials to save supplies.

The chief medical officer, Dr. Troy Gamble, said staff is working quickly to get more resources into the 22-bed facility.

“This is going to become more severe next week it seems,” Gamble said.

Currently, CEO Sharon Poston said the hospital is trying to preserve every resource, including personal protective equipment, five ventilators and even their own employees to serve a section of the hospital wholly dedicated to patients with respiratory illnesses.

“We closed our ICU so that we could use the ICU nurses in that hall ICU nurses are taking care of those patients,” Poston said. “I guess we are as ready as we can be.”

According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, Williamsburg County will receive 96 hospital gowns and 1000 masks from the national stockpile.

County officials are now working with community members to protect the supplies by sewing mask covers and gowns for medical workers and first responders.

“I’m watching what other states are doing and what’s happening with the medical field there. I felt it was necessary for us to at least start doing something now before we get to that level,” said Dr. Tiffany Wright, Williamsburg County supervisor. “They are just simply covers to preserve their medical grade equipment that they have underneath it.

“Were using them because we don’t have anything else to use right now,” Gamble said.

It’s a gesture hospital officials say is welcome.

“It’s so nice to have a community support and have people jump in to do whatever,” Gamble said. “We are having people volunteer from everywhere.”

Currently, the hospital is waiting for two COVID-19 test results for patients.

An employee has also been tested and is in isolation.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.