McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital has 19 pending tests for the novel coronavirus.
Results usually return within four or five days, and the hospital should receive the first tests back in a day or two, said Rob Whitehouse, TriHealth’s vice president for marketing and communications.
Most of these patients are self-quarantined, and a few are still in the hospital. It’s unclear how many of these people remain in Oxford or if any are Miami University students.
McCullough-Hyde has been preparing for possible coronavirus cases since two Miami students were tested in January, Whitehouse said. The hospital has a separate area in the emergency room for those who are suspected to have the coronavirus, and those people use a separate entrance. Most people go home to self-quarantine after being tested, but those who stay are kept in an area of the hospital away from other patients.
McCullough-Hyde is restricting visitors, other than a few exceptions, including if a person is dying, then one family member at a time is allowed to visit.
Whitehouse said the TriHealth hospitals are prepared to share equipment such as ventilators with other hospitals in the system if needed.
The city of Oxford is aware of the pending test results, and the hospital communicates daily with the police chief, fire chief and city manager, said Oxford Mayor Mike Smith.
Smith said McCullough-Hyde is prepared to handle the coronavirus if people do test positive and that the Ohio Department of Health will take the lead in telling the city how to proceed.
He said it’s not a question of if but when the coronavirus will come to Oxford.
“I think, statistically, we’re probably going to have a couple cases,” Smith said. “I think we know it’s going to happen; we just need to make sure everybody’s calm about it when it does happen.”
Smith encourages everyone to follow the CDC’s guidelines on social distancing, to wash their hands and not to stockpile food and supplies.
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Students with questions about the coronavirus and the university’s policies can reach out to Associated Student Government.