PARIS, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — Nurse practitioner Amanda Talamantes has been busy since the pandemic hit.

As a member of Horizon Health’s mobile integrated healthcare service, she is used to hitting the road to check on nursing home patients and others in need of home care, but now she helps treat those recovering from the coronavirus.

“They really appreciate having a provider in their home,” she said. “It’s a scary time.”

The mobile service, which involves nurse practitioners and paramedics, began as a way to help those with serious illnesses who have trouble getting to their healthcare provider. It has since evolved to fit the ongoing needs created by the pandemic, according to Samantha McCarty, head of Horizon Health’s emergency services.

“Paramedics would come in and tell me, ‘Hey, these people are at home they’re alone. There’s no one that is really checking on them. We fear that something may happen to them,'” McCarty said. “So it kind of exploded a little bit quicker.”

Coronavirus patients who visit a Horizon Health facility are assessed to determine the need for follow-up at-home visits. Talamantes explained treatment is a collaborative effort to ensure patients are seen and contacted daily.

“Typically the paramedics visit on days one, three and five. And then it’s referred off to a nurse practitioner,” McCarty noted.

Patients also receive a kit with everything needed to monitor their temperatures and blood oxygen levels from home. It includes instructions on what to do if symptoms worsen.

“Somebody’s able to have eyes on them and listening to their lungs is reassuring to them that they are either getting better or they just need closer monitoring,” Talamantes said.

And by having healthcare workers go to the patient, Horizon Health said it reduces the re-exposure of frontline workers and the community.

Once the pandemic is over, the mobile healthcare service will continue treating people with chronic illness.