In anticipation of the looming COVID surge, Cottage Health announced that it has installed triage tents in parking lots outside its emergency rooms, stationed nurses and health-care workers at hospital entrances to screen potential patients for COVID related symptoms, and has postponed many elective procedures to reduce demand on hospital resources that are more urgently needed for the virus.
Cottage declined to comment on unconfirmed reports that two medical professionals may have been infected, stating, “We are aware that individuals exposed to COVID-19 will include healthcare workers,” adding, “as a healthcare organization, we are not able to disclose or confirm health information.”
Cottage did not respond to questions regarding the number of ventilators it has or the number it anticipates it may need once the surge starts. Instead, it repeated that the health-care system has 47 negative pressure isolation rooms for patient care and has the ability to ramp up an undisclosed additional amount. The press release stated that Cottage is closely monitoring the hospitals’ stock of protective equipment.
The Independent has been contacted by relatives of high-level hospital employees expressing alarm that Cottage’s stock of gloves, gowns, masks, goggles, shields, and respirators are inadequate to meet the looming demand posed by the surge and is soliciting members of the community — particularly large institutions that may have stockpiled inventory of such equipment — to donate it to the hospital.
In order to minimize risk of further exposure, Cottage has recently terminated all visits to the hospital except in a few cases.