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Weathering the Storm

Weathering the Storm
By Debbie Briggs
Ellenville Regional Hospital

Pat Ryan & Steve Kelley

In mid-March, NYSARH member Ellenville Regional Hospital joined forces with the Ulster County Department of Health and Mental Health to offer drive-through COVID-19 testing on our campus. The County erected two sturdy tents in our driveway. The first tent was utilized for registration – patients would drive into the tent and show us their identification and insurance information, all while keeping their windows closed. We would then attach a test kit to their windshield, and they would drive into the second tent, where the actual testing took place. This process worked great, until an early spring snowstorm collapsed tent #1! The tent was replaced, and testing continued.

Tracy, Samantha, Evan

We then decided to triage all ED patients who were experiencing COVID-like symptoms in a set of pop-up tents outside next to the ED entrance. The COVID-potential patients entered the ED through a separate entrance, and were kept isolated from other patients once inside the ED. That way, we were able to separate non-COVID patients from potential COVID patients. That process was also working well until a strong windstorm knocked down and destroyed one of the pop-up tents! The tent was replaced, and the operation ran smoothly from there.

We continue to offer drive through testing during the week where any community
member with an appointment can be tested. To date, we have tested approximately 1,000 people.

The moral of the story? We were able to “weather” every storm and still provide a safe, efficient testing site for our community!

For more information contact: Ashima Butler at abutler@erhny.org

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