Additional Alternate Care Site Announced
Smryna – The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and the State Health Operations Center (SHOC) are announcing today the plan for an additional alternate care site (ACS) to support Kent and Sussex Counties. This plan is to accommodate overflow patients from Delaware hospital systems as they begin to experience a surge in patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This mobile hospital will join the two previously designated: the first on the campus of Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and the second at Governor Bacon Health Center.
The site will be a collaborative effort between Bayhealth, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, and Beebe Healthcare. The three healthcare systems are coordinating their surge plans with county and state officials. The primary goal is to maintain the surge within current hospitals. If needed, the state has offered to set up a mobile hospital as an alternate care site. Triggers have been identified as well as potential locations dependent on surge. Site evaluations were performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Delaware National Guard in the weeks preceding. The Delaware National Guard will provide crucial assistance with preparing, building, and operating this facility. The field hospital was utilized during a 2016 exercise and the Delaware National Guard stands ready to deploy the unit as previously trained. The mobile hospital can potentially treat 50-60 patients who do not have COVID-19. If the site is used for COVID-19 patients that number would be reduced. Numerous buildings were surveyed, however proximity to existing health care facilities and the accompanying resources are crucial to a successful mission.
The hospitals are managing the patients now with their current staffing but we are preparing for the expected increase in the coming days. This location, like the New Castle County sites, will be opened to alleviate the surge on hospitals when needed. We are grateful for the efforts of our partners in the health care systems within the state, the Division of Public Health, and the Delaware National Guard for their continued support.
For more information on COVID-19, http://de.gov/coronavirus
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Contact: Jeff Sands, Delaware Emergency Management Agency, 302-659-2211.