Cookeville Regional CEO Paul Korth said the facility stands ready to take care of COVID-19 cases when more occur.
The first patient diagnosed with the virus remains at the hospital after a Wednesday diagnosis. A staff member, who stopped working before the patient arrived, also remains quarantined with the illness at home.
“This is not any different than many other illnesses that we take care of and take very seriously on a daily basis,” Korth said. “We often have several isolation patients in the facility. So we are well familiar on how to take care of these patients and how to do the protections necessary not only for that individual patient, but for anybody else that is in the community or into the hospital.”
Outlandish and irresponsible rumors on social media continue to spread that Cookeville Regional does not have the capability to deal with a larger outbreak. Korth said that is simply false.
“We could handle anywhere between 150 and 175 additional inpatients at the medical center,” Korth said. “We have the ability to handle up to approximately 150 patients on respirators or ventilators.”
Korth said the leadership team works daily with medical professionals to understand the spread and make changes if necessary.
“Let me reassure the public, we are taking this very, very seriously and we are well prepared to take care of those patients that come to our facility,” Korth said.