Arkansas National Guardsmen to help with COVID-19 isolation facility near UAMS

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – We continue to learn more about the isolation facility. More than a dozen Arkansas National Guard medics have been called to help.

No details on the exact location of the facility still, we just know it will be near UAMS.

We talked more with the Health Department about it and they say this is the only facility of this kind and some states may have something similar.

The Department of Health says they decided that National Guard Medics will help with both staffing and transportation with patients to the center.

The isolation facility has been functioning since late March/early April. They say they initially set it up to be prepared during the pandemic.

This gives people a way to quarantine away from their families if they don’t have anywhere to go. It also helps anyone who is homeless.

On the other hand, it also helps health officials:

  • Investigate
  • Identify
  • Isolate the cases
  • Do contact tracing

That way they can hopefully stop the spread of the virus, they say so far 41 people have stayed there.

We talked with one of the medical directors of the facility; he explained what it looks like.

“It is a 29 room facility and it has two wings and some of the rooms have shared the Jack and Jill bathrooms. They all have their separate doors, locks, and things like that. So each room is occupied by an individual or sometimes a family,” said Appathurai Balamurugam (Dr. Bala) the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Arkansas Department of Health.

Dr. Bala says they provide everyone inside with food and anything else they might need. There has been a discussion about making a second facility if needed, in Northwest Arkansas.

Dr. Bala also says they don’t know how long this facility will be open, but they will keep it as long as there’s a need.

If you are someone or know someone who may need a place right now you’re asked to call their helpline.

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