SC health officials prepare alternate sites for possible hospital overflow

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COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- South Carolina nurses and doctors are working around the clock now that the coronavirus has added additional patients to a hospital’s already busy rotation.

But to make sure the state has enough beds to accommodate the increased need in care, health care officials are working on a “hospital surge plan.”

State hospitals and healthcare facilities are trying to keep up with the increase of patients as a result of the coronavirus. 54% of the state’s hospital beds are in use right now.

“They are prepared they have planned not only for ICU capacity but also general lower acute capacity so if they needed to create additionally capacity they have plans to do so,” said Melanie Matney, the COO of the SC Hospital Association. In addition to hospitals working to handle the influx now, hospitals are working to address possible increases in the future.

The “hospital surge plan” prevents a hospital from becoming overwhelmed with more patients than it can handle.

Critically ill patients would remain in the hospital. But lower acute care patients would be cared for off site in spaces like a hotel, which would be converted into a hospital setting.

Matney continued, “Think of it as a place where hospitals to move people into a lower acuity setting to make room for critically ill patients. It would need to have a back up generator and fire safety.”

The SC Hospital Association says it would be ideal for the state to switch to the overflow plan when hospitals have about 80% of their beds occupied.

Close to 4000 people in SC have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Potential sites are being inspected right now.

Tier 1 facilities are more of a shelter setting for people to go who may not have a place to self isolate.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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