CHARLOTTE – Atrium Health and Novant Health have asked Mecklenburg County to build a mass care field hospital to treat as many as 3,000 additional COVID-19 patients during the anticipated surge of the virus in April and May.
This comes as 533 county residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including three deaths, as of 4:30 p.m. April 2.
Atrium Health CEO Eugene Woods and Novant Health CEO Carl Armato wrote in a joint letter to Mecklenberg County Manager Dena Diorio there is a potential need for as many as 3,000 additional hospital beds.
[Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly works hard to bring you local news.
Please consider making a small financial donation to help us add value to our community.]
“As seen in other cities across the nation, such a surge can quickly overwhelm hospitals, and a field hospital can act as an important relief valve,” Armato and Woods wrote. “Therefore, the time to act is now to implement solutions needed to adequately care for our patients and community.”
The hospital systems have already canceled non-emergency visits, provided thousands of virtual visits and increased bed capacity by 50% in the last several weeks.
“We have been working with emergency management at the state and local levels to prepare for this potential since the incident began weeks ago,” Diorio said. “As we have done from the beginning, we are planning for the worst and hoping for the best.”
UNC Charlotte notified students living in six dorms April 2 to remove their belongings to ensure the community has the resources to support Emergency Management, the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Guard, according to the county.
Armato and Woods encourage the public to listen to stay-at-home orders and practice social distancing.
Become a CMG Insider! Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to stay on top of everything we are publishing in print and online, as well as what we’re sharing across our social media platforms. Click here to be added to the distribution list.