Update: Hospital unit for COVID-19 patient care
There was dramatic progress this week on our emergency additional 51-bed COVID-19 unit at Cox South. The unit is still on track to be ready for use by April 9. The space will be built into ward-style areas for patients suffering from the respiratory illness requiring ventilator support.
Today, at Cox South, we have 10 positive inpatient COVID-19 patients, and 11 inpatients suspected and awaiting test results.
The supply chain has been disrupted, and the traditional methods of acquiring personal protective equipment have been compromised. We are seeing profiteering, price gouging and unreliable products. Our current supply is sufficient for routine care, but we must deepen our reserves.
We are working with Taney County Health Department managing a possible broad COVID-19 exposure in the Branson area. We are working with the health department to monitor those possibly impacted.
Innovation for protective equipment for patients
CoxHealth is working with PolyFab of Springfield and their engineers on the design of a Plexiglas canopy that could be used as a patient hood for procedures such as intubations. This type of equipment could save on PPE for the health care worker. Like many of our preparations, we pray we will never use it. Its potential availability provides some comfort. We are also working with a local manufacturer who is helping to make disposable and cloth gowns as well as face masks.
Honoring our employees
We are grateful for local businesses like Pioneer Outdoor who have made billboards available as a public service to honor our staff. We are using the billboards to run a heroes campaign. Other advertisers have offered free space.
Alternative triage, treatment areas at other campuses
Last week I told you that the Cox South Emergency Department erected an alternate triage and treatment site for ambulatory patients who come to the ED with mild COVID-19 and other respiratory symptoms. Similar areas are now in place at Cox Monett, Cox Branson and Cox Barton County, and will come online in the next few days and as needed.
A video ‘thank you’ to our Health Care Heroes
Health Care Heroes don’t wear capes, but their dedication, expertise and compassion are superpowers. We are thankful for all of them every single day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqhmYIxrUn4
Inside mask-making efforts at CoxHealth
CoxHealth staff who have been temporarily displaced from their regular jobs are spending time making masks for use at CoxHealth. You can see some of their efforts in this new video.
Donations continue from local businesses, non-profits
Among the many donations this week – Cox South received a donation of more than 30,000 medical gloves from Boy Scout of America (Ozarks Trails Council), and Cox Branson received two pallets of gloves and face shields from Harbor Freight Tools.
Proud to work at CoxHealth
“So proud to call CoxHealth my home and my family. I work at Cox Branson in the ER, and let me tell you: We are here for you! We always will be. When the world shuts down, we don’t. So glad I get to be a part of something so special.”
Thank you for everything you do to support our patients and our community,