Memorial Still Isn't Testing as Many People as They'd Like, Says Local Doctor; But It's Improving


JASPER -- Officials with Memorial Hospital in Jasper are testing more residents for COVID-19, however, one local doctor tells WITZ, they aren't testing as many people as they'd like to.

"We're heard on and on about how, nationally, we aren't testing as many people as we would like simply because there is limited testing available to us," explains Dr. Stan Tretter from Memorial Hospital.  "All along, we have been operating under guidelines from the ISDH (Indiana State Department of Health), as well as the CDC, as to who we should test.  So, early in this course, we were very limited on who qualified for a test."

Tretter adds, while they are getting more tests in, they still don't have enough for everyone who wants one.

"As we've been able to get more tests, and as those guidelines have changed, we've been able to test more and more people.  So, we see we're widening our availability of testing.  We still don't have unlimited testing.  So, we still can't test everybody that we would...who wants to be tested or feels they need to be tested," Tretter continues, "we still have criteria we have to use but, certainly, that is improving as testing becomes a little more available."

As of Friday, Memorial Hospital had tested 287 people.  246 were negative, 17 positive and results are pending on an additional 18 cases.  

"About 8% of the testing has been positive [at Memorial]," says Melanie Powell from Memorial Hospital.  "I know that's different than the national standpoint, but, that's what we're seeing here locally."

While Memorial continues to treat COVID-19 patients, Dr. Logan Dellinger says the hospital is safe for those who have medical emergencies and other needs.

"We've had a little bit of time now to adjust our practices.  We've taken steps to separate our suspected coronavirus patients from our non-coronavirus patients.  We're screening patients at the door to see if they have a fever."

Dellinger adds, "We're supplying adequate PPE [Personal Protective Equipment].  I've never had an issue with needing a mask or a gown or hand sanitizer."

 Officials at Memorial Hospital in Jasper have announced new hours for its alternative screening site at 695 West 2nd Street.

It’s for patients who don’t require emergency services, but who have symptoms of fever, cough, respiratory congestion or shortness of breath.

The new hours will be from 9 a.m – 5 p.m. daily.

If you have questions, call (812) 996 – 6330.