Prisma Health converts North Greenville Hospital into dedicated facility for coronavirus
Prisma Health is turning the 45-bed North Greenville Hospital into a dedicated facility for the care of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients.
Other Prisma hospitals will continue to care for patients with the virus, but the move was made at North Greenville Hospital in Travelers Rest to provide additional capacity if needed.
Officials at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control have reported 47 cases of the virus in 13 counties and one death as of early Tuesday afternoon. One case has been confirmed in Greenville County.
Worldwide there have been 190,644 cases and 7,519 deaths as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. Nationally, there have been 5,702 cases and 94 deaths.
“We hope it’s not needed,” Dr. Wendell James III, chief clinical officer for Prisma Health-Upstate, said in a press release, "but we want it to be available if we see that it's necessary."
Patients in North Greenville's Long Term Acute Care area were moved to Baptist Easley Hospital starting Sunday afternoon, officials said. North Greenville ICU patients were moved to comparable units at other Prisma Health locations in the Upstate.
Long Term Acute Care physicians, nurses, therapists and wound-care specialists moved with each patient to provide continuity of care and help with the transition, officials said.
Prisma Health hospitals already have negative-pressure rooms to isolate patients with infectious diseases, with the capability to add rooms as necessary. Teams are now modifying North Greenville into several negative-pressure units, which will make each unit its own negative-pressure isolation area to prevent spread of the virus, officials said.
The area housing the potential COVID-19 patients will be isolated from the rest of the facility and will use a separate entrance.
Meanwhile, the ER and outpatient services at North Greenville will remain open to the community.
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“We already had extensive disaster preparedness plans in place, and we have continued to aggressively strengthen them since January when the outbreak first began globally,” James said. “We want our communities to know that we’re ready — and prepared to meet the need.”
Check back for more on this developing story.
– Liv Osby is the health writer at The Greenville News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 864-298-4422 or @livgnews.