OZARK, Ala. (WDHN) —Like many hospitals around the state, Dale Medical Center is over capacity as more COVID-19 patients seek treatment for the virus.

With the shortage of beds and the increase of patients, Dale Medical has had to resort to treating patients outside of the traditional hospital room.

“We were down to three ER rooms that we could actually treat an emergency room patient in because everything else was filled with critical care or medical patients that needed to be in the hospital,” Dale Medical Center CEO, Vernon Johnson said. “So we actually had to convert to treating patients in the hallway.”

On top of the shortage of beds, Dale Medical is also seeing a shortage of nurses, but Johnson says his team is working hard to serve the community with the limited resources they have.

“Our nurses are stretched thin,” Johnson said. “Our doctors are stretched thin. Let me tell you something, these guys are awesome. They’re giving it their all day in and day out because they know the community needs them.”

And Johnson says that the support from the community is what keeps his employees positive and keeps morale high.

“What keeps morale high and what does keep us going is the community support that we have,” Johnson said. “The number of people praying for us every day is just unbelievable. Knowing that they are appreciated goes a long long way.”

Johnson also wants to plead to the public to not come to the emergency room unless it is a true emergency.

He says that their average wait time is around eight to ten hours to be seen due to the influx of patients coming in.