Tharaka-Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki has reserved the four main public hospitals in the county for Covid-19 and referral cases only.
The four are Chuka County Referral, Magutuni, Marimanti and Kibung'a hospitals.
In a press statement on Tuesday, Governor Njuki said the move will help reduce congestion at the facilities, which have coronavirus isolation centres.
"We want to reduce crowding in our four main hospitals handling Covid-19 suspected cases so that they can focus more on the pandemic," he said.
The county chief said other patients who go to these hospitals will be required to produce a referral note before they are attended to.
Those seeking special services such as dialysis, CT-scans, digital X-rays, ultrasound imaging and cancer screening, which are only offered at the main facilities, will be attended to.
Governor Njuki noted that there are91 dispensaries and health centres in villages across the county, which offer similar services conveniently.
Furthermore, he said, health workers in most of the dispensaries and health centres are idle due to the small number of patients they receive as many opt for the four big hospitals.
"Many people believe they can only get good services at the main hospitals yet similar drugs and medical officers are in nearby health centres, where they can be attended to conveniently and go back home," he said.
The county boss assured residents of enough drugs and qualified medics in all health facilities.
He added that Tharaka-Nithi and the national government are doing everything possible to fight the pandemic so they should not be afraid.
In terms of financial resources, Governor Njuki said the Sh10 million budget the assembly passed is insufficient and that another Sh78 million is needed.
He added that the training of health workers on dealing with the virus was ongoing and that handwashing equipment was being distributed.
"By last week, a total of 103 health workers had been trained and 65,534 equipment, including sanitisers, soaps and buckets issued to members of the public," he said.
Regarding screening, he said every person entering the county must agree to the process and that those from Covid-19 hotspots must isolate themselves for 14 days.
Mr Njuki encouraged well-wishers to support the fight against the pandemic.
He lauded Plan International, Village HopeCore International and other non-governmental organisations and individuals who have given residents handwashing materials and educated them on preventing the spread of the virus.