State leader’s Surge Plan includes converting arenas, closed hotels and hospitals to temporary care facilities

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Creating additional hospital space across the state to provide more beds for COVID19 patients is the latest step being taken by state leaders looking to combat Coronavirus. Both local and state leaders are working to create space by converting closed hotels and hospitals as well as consolidating services at current hospitals to prepare in the event hospitals see a surge in cases. 

“All of our other clinical partners throughout the state to come up with a workable system that is going to give us the bed capacity that we could potentially need,” says Dr. Eric Ossmann who is Vice Chair of Emergency Medicine for Clinical Affairs and Operations at Prisma Health.

Dr. Ossmann says the South Carolina National Guard, the Emergency Management Division and clinical partners worked to develop the three tiered Medical Surge Protection Plan. Tier three includes current hospitals, tier two includes converting facilities such as closed hotels and hospitals and tier one includes locations for isolating patients. Tier two and three facilities will be able to care for patients.

“Creating tier two facilities in Coliseums and arenas and also creating tent hospitals if needed,” says Dr. Ossmann.

Locally, Laura MacMillan, Director of Women’s Services for Roper Saint Francis says the hospital is consolidating it’s current services to be prepared in the event of a surge of COVID19 patients.

“We’re consolidating out obstetrical services at Bons Secours Saint Francis Hospital for patient safety,” says MacMillan. “By combining our resources, we’re able to provide the highest level of care to our patients.”

MacMillan says all delivery and labor services have been temporarily moved to it’s West Ashley campus in hopes of a two fold benefit.

“By combining resources, we are allowing our patients and staff to only be at one site therefore limiting their exposure to COVID,” says MacMillan.

The consolidation will also allow it’s other campuses to focus on treating COVID19 patients more directly.

“By consolidating, it will allow the other two facilities to open up beds there to care for a surge of patients,” says MacMillan

Officials from the City of North Charleston say there have been no official requests by the state to use a North Charleston facility as a temporary hospital including the North Charleston Coliseum.

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