In a move to be proactive and not reactive, Iroquois Memorial Hospital has erected tents outside its doors as a precaution.

There currently are no positive cases of COVID-19 in Iroquois County, said IMH CEO Don Williams Tuesday afternoon.

The tents were erected as a precaution in case they are needed. There are cases of COVID-19 in neighboring counties.

“We are trying to be ready,” Williams said. “It is our hope and prayer we don’t have to use them.”

There was a notice that went out to hospitals who might need such external facilities, he said. The emergency management agency officials provided the tents and there were several first responders from area fire departments who helped set them up.

Williams said there is a small tent by the emergency room that would be used for people who have met criteria and need to be swabbed for testing. “So they don’t have to come in around other people,” he said.

The larger tent set up could be set up as a triage for people who are experiencing respiratory symptoms, he said.

“We are doing anything and everything we can to help us be one step ahead,” Williams said.

Helping with emergency preparedness were Milford Fire Department, Ashkum Fire Department, Watseka Fire Department, Crescent City Fire Department, MABAS, Region 6 Coalition, manpower from Concord Fire, Beaverville Fire, Martinton Fire and Chebanse Township.

Williams said, too, that the people of the IMH community have been gracious is asking if there is anything that can be done to help. He said they have had people asking to volunteer to make masks and that information will be up on their website soon.

“We are fortunate to have a community that cares about each other,” he said.