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Cliff Williams / The Outlook Russell Medical staff were at The Mill Two Eighty Tuesday morning to administer COVID-19 tests to patients as cases mount in the area.

As COVID-19 cases increase across the area, Russell Medical has made changes to better accommodate all patients.

Russell Medical is limiting visitors to the hospital to one per patient with very few exceptions. It is also moving those seeking to find out if they have COVID-19 to The Mill Two Eighty where it stood up COVID-19 testing earlier this year.

“We have moved testing over there as of (Tuesday) morning,” Russell Medical director of marketing Susan Foy said. “The urgent care is seeing so many people. This will help with the need there.”

Like before, the process will see the medical providers moving around automobiles.

“They will drive up and be registered and swabbed,” Foy said. “They will be given a number and park. We want to keep people in their car. We have a nurse practitioner and physician there that if you test positive, they can give you next steps, get you over to the hospital for the monoclonal antibodies.”

Foy said patients in the hospital will only be allowed one visitor. Pediatric patients and birthing mothers will be allowed two visitors but only one at a time.

Other changes are also underway. Foy said the monoclonal antibody infusion will soon move back upstairs to help relieve some of the pressure in the emergency department and more ICU beds will likely be stood up on a temporary basis.

Drive-thru testing hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

“We plan to keep the drive-thru testing up through at least the end of September,” Foy said.

Russell Medical is administering the COVID-19 vaccine in Total Fitness by appointment. Appointments can be made by calling 256-329-7138.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.

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