Local preparations in place for coronavirus


HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM)–So far, there are no confirmed cases in Maryland, as the deadly coronavirus has made its way to several states across the U.S. But airing on the side of caution, medical staff in Hagerstown are preparing to handle the infection if it does come to the area.

“We are prepared to put them immediately in airborne isolation, which is like a quarantined room with negative air pressure, and we take all of the precautions like using gloves, gowns, and dedicated equipment,” said Meritus Medical Center Infectious Disease Consultant Mohammed Ali.

Infectious disease doctors at Meritus Medical Center have been told that potential coronavirus patients might have symptoms of fever, cough or respiratory difficulties. While the hospital currently does not have a diagnostic test for coronavirus, they’ve been told to follow guidelines from the Maryland Department of Health and the CDC.

EMT staff in the area are also being briefed on how to handle the transportation of people suspected of contracting coronavirus.

“We’re using standard precautions, what that means, is gloves for the providers, masks on the patients, masks for the providers if the patient exhibits any respiratory symptoms and thorough disinfection of the ambulance after the call,” David Chisholm Assistant Director of EMS Operations for Washington County Emergency Services.

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