Helen Keller Hospital Lockdown Continues, Safety Measures Heightened

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SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WHNT) - A security scare in the Shoals prompts a hospital to go under lockdown.

Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield remains under limited access mode.

Administrators say a patient's relative made a threat against that person and security measures were taken immediately.

Now security guards stand at every entrance.

Visitors must identify who they are going to see, and the exact room number.  If they don't have that information, they could be turned away.

"We limited access to the hospital, followed our procedure, and notified the police department," said Helen Keller Hospital CEO, Doug Arnold.   "Any time you have things like that happen, you want to take security precautions.  Not only for the patients, but for everyone else in the hospital.  It's just part of what we do."

Since this lockdown started, around 9:00 p.m. Sunday, hospital officials say they've been in constant contact with the Sheffield Police Department.   According to officials, the lockdown will not end until the patient is released or the hospital gets clearance by investigators.

"It's a collaborative decision. It's just better to be overcautious and that's our philosophy. Safety is number one for our patients," said Arnold.

Helen Keller Hospital officials believe none of their patients or medical staff are in immediate danger.

However these precautions are typical protocol any time a threat is made.

Two employees and an officer were injured early Saturday morning when a gunman fired shots inside St. Vincent's Hospital in Birmingham. Officers saw the gunman and shot him.  The gunman died.

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