North Greenville Hospital closes COVID unit as cases decline

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A hospital bed (Nexstar, file).

GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Prisma Health will no longer have a dedicated COVID-19 unit at North Greenville Hospital because of the decrease in hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the Upstate, hospital officials said on Thursday.

Prisma Health will re-open its long-term acute-care unit there, as well as move forward on plans to expand a primary care clinic.

“I’m very grateful for the extraordinary care provided by the team members to patients at North Greenville Hospital during this long pandemic year. They have provided exceptional care under exceptionally difficult circumstances,” said Dr. Wendell James, chief clinical officer for Prisma Health in the Upstate. “While the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients needing intensive care has decreased and stabilized, we know that COVID-19 is still with us. Being able to close this one COVID-19 unit is just a small victory of many victories yet to come.”

Dr. Wendell James, chief clinical officer for Prisma Health in the Upstate

North Greenville Hospital initially transitioned from a long-term acute-care unit to a dedicated facility for COVID-19 patients in March 2020. The hospital underwent additional cleaning and disinfection using CDC-approved protocols and discontinued special COVID-19 accommodations such as negative-pressure rooms.

The facility will retain one area in COVID-ready status as a temporary precaution against a potential surge over the next few weeks, according to Prisma Health.

During the last several weeks, Prisma Health’s number of COVID-19 inpatients has hovered around 100 per day, down significantly since January’s peak of 550 inpatients per day, a news release said.

“While this is a significant decrease in the number of inpatients, we must continue to stress to our community about the importance of remaining vigilant, even as vaccinations continue to expand and vaccine availability continues to improve,” James said.

Over the course of the pandemic, Prisma Health has cared for nearly 9,300 inpatients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and provided more than 356,000 COVID tests.  In addition, the organization has given more than 347,000 COVID-19 vaccinations at all its vaccine sites system-wide.

While Prisma Health operates an adult primary care walk-in clinic and a pediatrics clinic on that campus currently, an expanded adult walk-in clinic is expected to open this summer in the emergency department space, which is now under renovation. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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