Leaders at Charlotte’s 2 major hospitals, Atrium and Novant, have announced they believe their new hospital bed surge capacity will be sufficient for the new COVID-19 forecast and that a UNCC field hospital wont be needed at this time.
In a letter the hospitals sent to Mecklenburg County Manager Dena R. Diorio, Atrium Health CEO Gene Woods and Novant Health CEO Carl Armato said our Stay at Home Orders have been making a field hospital unnecessary for the time being and that they’ve successfully identified and reallocated areas in their hospitals to satisfy the projected need.
“As a result of our combined efforts, we believe we are now in a position to meet the 600 medical bed need that was previously requested for a field hospital, assuming the effects of social distancing trend continues the current trajectory,” said both CEOs.
The letter goes on to warn that the situation could easily change if social distancing reduces around our region.
“It is important to note this trend could reverse quickly if social distancing is eased prematurely without supporting data. Recognizing the dynamic nature of this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, we must stay committed to ongoing, prudent assessment of the situation and remain ready to adjust as needed,” said Woods and Armato.
Two weeks ago, modeling without social distancing led the hospitals to request a 3,000-bed mass care facility. They revised the request to 600 beds last week as the impact of social distancing began taking effect.
Public Health Director Gibbie Harris says the announcement is another sign that the Stay at Home Order is working.
“We are obviously pleased, but we can’t stop now,” Harris noted. “We have to continue the compliance, flatten the curve, and get beyond this.”
There have now been a total of 1,039 Mecklenburg residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 19 who have died from the virus.