City Council will allow MercyOne to block off street for Coronavirus testing

Once it has needed supplies and equipment, hospital will be able to test patients without them getting out of vehicles

MercyOne New Hampton Medical Center received permission Friday from the New Hampton City Council to close one block of North Maple Avenue so that the hospital can test for Coronavirus COVID-19 without patients having to get out of their vehicles.

When exactly that will happen, though, remain up in the air, according to a hospital spokesperson.

“It’s not going to happen until we get the supplies and the PPE [personal protective equipment] in place,” said Jennifer Monteith, MercyOne’s director of marketing and public relations, “but we wanted to make sure the city would be OK with what we were planning.”

The council held a special meeting on Friday, when MercyOne’s Randy Gorres explained the hospital’s plan.

If it needs to do extensive testing, the hospital will close Maple Avenue between Hale and Court streets and make it a one-way with two stations — the first one for registration and the second one for testing.

The City Council agreed to allow the hospital to close the street for testing from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, until June 1.

Council members also waived the $250 special meeting fee and agreed to allow Mayor Bobby Schwickerath and city department heads to make “certain decisions during the public health disaster to minimize the barriers for these health crisis situations.”

New Hampton Tribune

10 North Chestnut Ave
New Hampton, IA 50659
Phone: (641) 394-2111
Email: tribune@nhtrib.com

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