Hospitals Redirecting Patients as Coronavirus Numbers Surge
One California hospital is only admitting COVID-19 patients after much of its staff tested positive for the virus while a Texas children’s hospital is now treating adults.
As hospitals across the country continue to fight the coronavirus pandemic, unique adjustments are being made to accommodate surges among both patients and staff.
Adventist Health Lodi Memorial Hospital, the largest healthcare facility in Lodi, Calif., has temporarily stopped admitting non-coronavirus patients after a surge in positive cases among its staff, reports KPIX.
Fewer than 30 staff members tested positive for the virus in the past week and many did not show symptoms, hospital officials wrote in a statement. The remaining staff will be tested consistently over the next 14 days to identify additional cases.
“The safety and well-being of our nurses, associates, physicians and patients are our top priority,” said Dr. Patricia Iris, medical officer of Adventist Health. “Despite strict safety protocols, training and use of personal protective equipment, more of our staff began testing positive this week. As a result, we decided to test all associates working in the hospital to give us a more complete understanding of the spread.”
To prevent further spread, patients who do not have COVID-19 will be admitted to Dameron Hospital in Stockton, about 20 miles away. Daniel Wolcott, president of both hospitals, said the facilities have been preparing for this type of coronavirus surge since the pandemic began.
During the temporary suspension, the emergency room and the obstetrics and gynecology department will remain open.
“Lodi Memorial’s labor and delivery and post-partum units are in separate areas of the hospital and only staff and physicians who work in those units have access,” hospital officials said.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of June 23, 465 healthcare workers have died from COVID-19.
Children’s Hospital Now Treating Adults
In Houston, Texas Children’s Hospital announced Monday it is now accepting adult patients with COVID-19 as cases and hospitalizations in the state continue to rise, according to The Hill. The hospital will be providing additional capacity for COVID-19 patients through its expanded Special Isolation Unit on its West campus, located in Katy.
The hospital is also admitting adults who don’t have COVID-19 to help free up bed space in other hospitals.
“Texas Children’s Hospital, our employees, medical staff and leadership team continue to carefully monitor the ongoing active transmission and increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the greater Houston area and across the State. We are committed to doing our part to assist the city as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise,” read a statement from the hospital.
Other hospitals in the Houston area are also preparing to activate patient surge plans to expand available ICU beds above normal capacities.
Dr. Mark Boom, CEO and president of Houston Methodist, said Methodist hospitals have seen triple the number of COVID-19 patients in the month of June.
On Monday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the health department is reporting some of the highest numbers since the start of the pandemic, reports KHOU 11.
“We are moving very fast and we are moving very fast in the wrong direction,” said Turner. “The course that we are currently on is not in the best interest of our city or state.”
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