BELOIT—Testing for coronavirus/COVID-19 cases is being carried out by Beloit Health System at a remote testing facility in an effort to limit the potential spread of the virus and to protect other patients at Beloit Memorial Hospital.

Beloit Health System Vice President and Medical Director Dr. Roger Kapoor says if residents are worried that they may have been exposed to COVID-19, they first should call the health system’s hotline at 800-303-5770. A medical professional will determine if a patient should come in for testing.

If someone does not meet the testing criteria outlined by the State of Wisconsin and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the person will be asked to self-quarantine at home for 14 days to monitor symptoms. If symptoms worsen or a fever of 100.4 degrees or greater developed, a person in self-quarantine should call the hotline or proceed to the emergency department, Kapoor said.

For those who meet testing requirements, patients will be asked to visit the remote testing facility near the hospital near the intersection of Hart Road and Prairie Avenue. After a test is administered, individuals will be directed to self-quarantine until test results are received. The person’s primary care provider will provide the test results.

People who are deemed to be “severely ill” following the screening are being advised to come to the hospital emergency department for possible admissions and testing, Kapoor said. Call 911 directly if it is a medical emergency. Callers to 911 are being screened for COVID-19-related responses to help protect first responders and healthcare professionals.

Kapoor said the remote testing facility located near the hospital will help keep patients, healthcare workers and the public safe.

“The greatest benefit is keeping people who think they may have COVID-19 from co-mingling with other patients who may not have COVID-19 symptoms and lowering the risk of exposure,” Kapoor said. “It is especially important to protect patients with other chronic diseases that place them in the higher risk group that may develop severe complications from COVID-19.”

Kapoor said the health system has a “limited supply” of COVID-19 testing supplies, not unlike issues seen at hospitals across the country.

“While we would love to test everyone who would like to be tested, we must be good stewards of the supplies we have on hand, follow CDC guidelines closely and test the individuals who need it the most,” Kapoor said.

The remote testing facility does not provide drive through service currently.

“However, if the CDC can provide additional testing supplies and gives permission to start mass testing, we are prepared to convert the BHS Testing Center into a drive through service,” Kapoor said.

The health system is among many medical providers in the region conserving personal protection equipment for health workers. Kapoor said the hospital was closely monitoring its supply and attempting to conserve supplies when appropriate.

“We can always use more and are accepting donations of PPE from others who may not need them in order to protect our healthcare workers, patients and community,” Kapoor said.

On Tuesday, Rock County healthcare providers and first responders issued a call to residents and businesses for help in addressing the protective equipment shortage. Anyone who has medical grade masks, gowns or face shields that could be procured by Rock County Emergency Management for the use of healthcare providers and first responders is asked to donate these items.

People can call 608-290-4589 or email to eoc.eoc@co.rock.wi.us with the following information: The items available, the quantity, and the cost; and contact information.

All elective surgeries have been postponed by Beloit Health System until April 20.