As hospitals prepare for the future spread of coronavirus, they are expanding the size of their emergency rooms. One hospital in Fredericksburg doing it in their parking garage.
Mary Washington Hospital is preparing for the worst case scenario by creating a field hospital to serve as an overflow emergency room. They typically have the capacity to handle 150 to 250 patients. But as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, they expect they’ll serve way more than that.
“So the idea is folks with respiratory complaints and fevers that we expect may need to be screened or treated for coronavirus com come here,” said Dr. Eric Tosh.
In about 10 days the plans are expected to be completed. They have the space set up to function nearly the same as their normal ER. There is a nurse triage station, laptops for accessing electronic medical records, an HvAC system and a room for X-rays.
There preparations are helping ease the concerns of patients but also healthcare workers.
“One of the things that cause people the most anxiety is thinking about the worst case scenario and this thing was built to accommodate the worst case scenario,” Tosh said.