OSKALOOSA — The Iowa National Guard was at the Mahaska Health campus on the morning of Monday, March 23.
A mobile building and tents were put in place on the campus by members of the 3654th Support Maintenance Company, as a measure of preparedness and surge planning in the face of COVID-19.
Mahaska County EMA/911 Administrator Jamey Robinson said the structures don’t have a specific purpose at the moment, nor are they currently in use, but the situation is very fluid, “and we’re trying to stay ahead of things.”
“I think the hospital does some great things with their preparation out there. I don’t want to speak for them but they’re doing a lot of things to make sure they’re ready for the public,” he said, as the soldiers worked. “The public should be confident in their responders and know that we’re trying to do what’s best. We have a very large group of people that are meeting daily, for hours at a time, to discuss and review things.”
According to a news release from Mahaska Health, proactive steps are taken to prepare for “a multitude of possible scenarios.”
Mahaska Health CEO Kevin DeRonde said via press release “our team of administrators and healthcare providers are observing the best practices of healthcare institutions across the state and country, working with Mahaska Emergency Management, and abiding by guidance from local, state, and national health organizations.”
Mahaska Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Timothy Breon said healthcare providers have made a commitment to care for patients and the community as best they can.
“We have a strong team of providers and staff who are working every day to continue to provide the best quality of care during this uncertain time,” he said.
The news release reminded community members that as the COVID-19 situation develops, information and processes are subject to change quickly. The public is urged to check mahaskahealth.org for “the most updated information on what to expect during your visit to the hospital. Patients with questions about an upcoming scheduled visit to the hospital should contact their provider.”
General questions about COVID-19 should be directed to 211.
“Most importantly, Mahaska Health asks that the public remain calm and comply with the processes the hospital has put into place to protect patients and the public,” the release read. “Mahaska Health thanks the community for their continued support and understanding. We remain dedicated to caring for you.”