Medical Tents Positioned at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital for COVID-19 Preparedness
News Release, St. Mary’s County Health Department and MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital
LEONARDTOWN, MD (April 20, 2020) – Although MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital has been treating patients who have tested positive with COVID-19, hospital capacity and supplies—including personal protective equipment, ventilators, and medications—continue to be in good supply, according to hospital administration.
“We continue to work with the St. Mary’s County Health Department and Department of Emergency Services to plan for a possible surge of COVID-19 positive patients at our hospital,” said Stephen Michaels, MD, chief operating and chief medical officer of MedStar St. Mary’s. “Our leadership meets on a daily basis to discuss the status of the hospital in addition to ways we can prepare for an influx of patients.”
As part of preparations for a potential surge in demand on hospital resources, medical tents are being erected on the grounds of the hospital to be used for patient care, if needed. The structures will be completely outfitted with the features needed to provide a safe environment in which staff can deliver care for patients.
“Because of the social distancing and actions taken by our residents and businesses in the past several weeks, we now anticipate less of a surge than originally expected in our county,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer, “We hope the medical tents will not be needed; however, given the difficulty predicting the impact of this virus, we want to be fully prepared to care for our residents should the need arise.”
“Just as other hospitals throughout the country have continued to prepare for the spread of the virus, we, too, must be ready to face the potential surge head-on using all of the tools and knowledge available to us. MedStar Health has done an outstanding job of deploying resources and communicating with all of its entities to ensure that we are ready,” said Michaels. “We wanted the public to know that these temporary structures are here if needed, but—based on the current trends—we are optimistic they will likely not be put into use.”
Residents should continue to focus on staying home. If you need to go out for essential items or work, wear a face covering, practice social distancing, and continue infection prevention measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
For local COVID-19 data, updates and information, please visit www.smchd.org/coronavirus or call the COVID-19 Community Hotline at (301) 475-4911 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m.