On Monday, health officials in Morgan County announced new plans for a coronavirus unit at Decatur Morgan Hospital's Parkway Campus.
They plan to have the unit up and running by Nov. 1. It will start with 15 beds, but the goal is to more than double that.
Adding the unit at the Parkway Campus will open up inpatient beds at some of the other campuses for non-coronavirus patients. The president of Decatur Morgan Hospital, Kelli Powers, said the new unit will make the entire system run more smoothly.
“We decided to open a COVID unit and use some of the unused beds that we have to help alleviate stress off of Decatur Morgan so that we can continue to do electives and then also to help with the stress of the system as well," said Powers.
Most of the hospitals in the Decatur Morgan System have a specific coronavirus unit. Powers said once the 15 beds at the Parkway Campus open, other hospitals will be able to transfer their coronavirus patients to Parkway.
“We have two units right now at the main campus that are COVID patients, so we’ll go down to one, hopefully if we can, and put the patients in Parkway and then we will build up to 36 so we can take patients from Athens, Hellen Keller if needed or Huntsville-Madison hospitals so they don’t have to stop elective as well," said Powers.
The new unit will be for patients not needing intensive care. Those patients will go to the Decatur Campus. This allows more patients to receive non-coronavirus care.
“What we’re hoping to do is make sure we have capacity, so we do not have to stop elective surgeries again at the main campus or at some other campuses in the system," said Powers.
To keep the Nov. 1 deadline, the Decatur Morgan Hospital needs to hire a new staff for the Parkway Campus coronavirus unit.
In addition to the new unit at the Parkway Campus, Powers said they hope to build a specific coronavirus intensive care unit at the main campus.