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CoxHealth and Mercy Hospitals prepping for COVID-19 patients

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — CoxHealth in Springfield has launched two new projects which aim to help COVID-19 patients.

What’s already up outside the emergency department is a large tent intended to treat patients with mild symptoms. What’s coming in two weeks is a floor dedicated to patients with more severe symptoms.

The intensive care unit will have a lot of open space, no private rooms.

This will reduce the need for patients to use personal protective equipment, like a mask.

The floor will be able to hold 51 ventilated patients.

“First one is how do we kind of cohort those COVID-like symptoms or flu-like symptoms together to ensure efficient use of personal protective equipment, staff, and ensuring those patients are not coming into the hospital so we can maintain safety for all others,” said Amanda Hedgpeth, CoxHealth Hospital operations vice president. “It’s also just gearing up in case we were to need additional capacity in our emergency room.”

CoxHealth is preparing for any COVID-19 emergencies, but president and CEO Steve Edwards says he prays they don’t use this space.

Edwards says this unit is the best possible move to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

COVID-19 isn’t as common in the Ozarks as it has been in other places, but Edwards isn’t encouraged about how things are looking right now.

Mercy hospital is also taking measures to help patients with negative pressure rooms which are designed to protect them and their doctors.

“It’s working very well right now,” said Brent Hubbard, President and CEO of Springfield Mercy Hospitals. “We have had to expand outside our medical-surgical floor into another unit that is dedicated for COVID-19 patients as well.”

Mercy also has a space that can hold 20 patients who either are waiting on their results or diagnosed with the virus.

CoxHealth is asking patients with mild symptoms to consider a virtual doctor visit.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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