Through a $500,000 grant initially applied for by Mena Regional Health System when COVID-19 started, Jay Quebedeaux, CEO of MRHS, reported last night to the Mena Hospital Commission that a COVID-19 testing machine was purchased.
“We requested fifteen percent of the $500,000 to be used with equipment and PPE and 85 percent to be used for operational losses,” said Quebedeaux. The estimated cost of the machine was $80,000 which left $420,000 to be applied toward operational loss within MRHS.
According to Quebedeaux, the grant will arrive within a month. With the new testing machine, local COVID-19 tests will no longer have to be sent off. Quebedeaux shared that the machine has the same technology used at the bigger hospitals and at the state lab. Quebedeaux is expecting the machine to arrive in five to six weeks. Having the machine on-site will prevent interruption of scheduled surgeries, hospital admission and deliveries.
Arkansas had its second-largest 24-hour increase in COVID-19 cases yesterday with 1,013 new coronavirus cases reported. Polk County has a total of 109 positive COVID-10 cases out of 1,970 tests. Of the 109 cases, 14 are active and 95 have recovered.