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LOUDONVILLE -- University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center is readying for a potential surge in coronavirus (COVID-19) patients by temporarily closing some facilities, as part of a purposeful attempt to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE). 

The UH Samaritan Medical Center announced the closure of its New London Urgent Care in the northern part of Ashland County Thursday and followed Friday morning -- less than 24 hours later -- with news that UH Kettering Urgent Care and the osteopathic office of Dr. Megan Oberhauser in Loudonville would close, too. 

The closures along with detailed protocol for system-wide medical professionals are to conserve PPE, which is currently in high demand across the United States.

According to the hospital's communications and development manager Kathy Witmer, Ashland County recently received a mere 1 percent of its recent request for PPE from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). The organization manages distribution of PPE for all care providers in the county which includes EMS, nursing homes, public health and more.  

"Currently, we have adequate supplies of Personal Protective Equipment at Samaritan. We also continue to pursue additional supplies as production ramps up worldwide," Witmer said in a statement earlier this week. "We have very strict protocols for our caregivers on the use of PPE in order to protect our caregivers and patients while still conserving PPE. 

"All Samaritan nursing staff have been educated and directed on conservation methods consistent with recommendations of UH infection prevention experts."  

Further, visitors, nursing and clinical students are no longer permitted entry to patient rooms where PPE is required. 

Several visitor restrictions were also implemented to save PPE -- in addition to slowing or stopping the spread of COVID-19.

The temporarily closing UH Kettering Urgent Care, located at 546 North Union Street, Loudonville, includes lab and radiology services. The closure is effective at end of business Saturday, April 4, according to press release from the Department of Communications and Development's Noah Gangi. 

Rehabilitation services remain open at the Kettering location.

The closure of Dr. Megan Oberhauser's office in Loudonville is also effective as of April 4. She will continue to see patients at the Ashland office, 53 Sugarbush Court, or by virtual visit. Dr. Oberhauser’s office number is 419-207-2750.

The New London Urgent Care, located at 206 West Main Street in New London was temporally closed at the end of business Friday, April 3. 

Patients needing urgent care services can instead visit the UH Samaritan Urgent Care, located at 663 East Main Street in Ashland, the press release said. 

Samaritan Urgent Care is open Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Get the latest local updates by reading Ashland Source's regularly updated bulletin

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