SOUTH BEND — As the county’s confirmed number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase and stood at 264 Tuesday, Dr. Mark Fox, St. Joseph County Deputy Health Officer, said Saint Joseph Health System is developing plans to use its former Rehabilitation Institute on Elm Road in Mishawaka for overflow patients. The site potentially could accommodate about 100 recovering COVID patients who are not in need of intensive care, he said.
Fox also said Tuesday that a limited number of antibody tests might be available for local hospitals to use as soon as this week. The tests can detect whether someone has had COVID-19. They might be used to identify potential plasma donors for a convalescent plasma program, he said, or to identify “when individuals are safe to return to work.”
“In the near term,” Fox said, “it would be for health care workers to see if they’re immune and would then be able to go back to working on the front lines.”