GREENSBORO — Patients with severe cases of COVID-19 will now be treated at the former Women's Hospital and at Wesley Long Hospital, Cone Health announced on Monday.
The former Women's Hospital, which closed in February, will reopen today to care for severely ill patients battling coronavirus who are transferred from other sites or admitted directly by their physician. This location will not have an emergency department, a Cone Health news release said.
Cone Health officials hope this strategy will accommodate any increase in volume of infected patients. The health system was treating 27 hospitalized patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday afternoon, according to Cone Health spokesman Doug Allred.
Beginning April 20, Wesley Long Hospital will transition to a hospital for patients with symptoms or a diagnosis of COVID-19.
Alamance Regional Medical Center, Annie Penn Hospital and Moses Cone Hospital will focus on providing care for patients without COVID-19.
“By continuing to strengthen our communities’ efforts to stay at home and practice social distancing, we have a chance to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our region and across the state," Terry Akin, Cone Health's chief executive officer, said in the news release. "This would limit sickness and save lives, and help to avoid overwhelming our hospitals, physicians, nurses and other caregivers.”
COVID-19 patients at Moses Cone Hospital will be moved to the former Women's Hospital on Green Valley Road, Allred said by email. The health system had additional ventilators in stock that they were able to designate to the Green Valley location, he said.
"Our physicians (pulmonary specialists, hospitalists, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, and critical care surgeons) have come together and created a plan so that all patients will have physicians who are skilled in airway and ventilator management," Allred said. "Nursing has done the same. We have capacity because we are not doing elective surgeries or procedures."
When asked if the former Women's Hospital location could be used to accept COVID-19 patients from other health systems, Allred replied, "If the need arises, we would collaborate with the state or any of our partners in the state."
In Guilford County, Cone Health also announced:
• Residents needing evaluation for severe COVID-19 symptoms should go to the Wesley Long Hospital Emergency Department.
• The emergency department at Wesley Long Hospital will remain open. Individuals requiring care for conditions other than COVID-19 may be transferred to Moses Cone Hospital for treatment.
• People facing mental health crises will now be cared for at Behavioral Health Hospital if medically stable and at Moses Cone Hospital's emergency department if medically unstable, effective immediately.
• Those in Guilford County seeking other types of emergency care should go to the emergency departments at Moses Cone Hospital and Cone Health MedCenter High Point.
• Patients being treated for cancer will continue to receive their outpatient treatment at the Cone Health Cancer Center at Wesley Long Hospital.
• Inpatient oncology, sickle cell and urology units will move to Moses Cone Hospital, beginning April 20.
• The Cone Health Center for Women’s Healthcare and Cone Health Center for Maternal Fetal Care have moved from the former Women's Hospital to the second floor of the LeBauer HealthCare building at 520 N. Elam Ave.
Cone Health wants residents of Alamance and Rockingham counties to be aware of the following:
• Patients who live near Alamance Regional Medical Center and Annie Penn Hospital should continue to go there for emergency care (whether related to COVID-19 or otherwise).
• Patients from these counties who require ongoing care for COVID-19 may be transferred when appropriate to Wesley Long or the former Women's Hospital.
Health officials encourage anyone who has a fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19 to call their doctor for guidance or go to conehealth.com for information about how to be evaluated by phone, email or video.
Contact Annette Ayres at 336-373-7019.