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Blessing Hospital makes changes ahead of expected surge of COVID-19 patients

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Hospitals are gearing up for a surge in COVID-19 patients as positive tests are on the rise.

Some Tri-State hospitals are making adjustments to make sure they are prepared.

Inside Blessing Hospital, they are constantly making changes to accommodate more COVID-19 patients.

Blessing officials said they're doing everything they can to try and stay ahead of what they say could be a very demanding next couple of weeks.

"We are getting ready, for what we call the surge," Blessing Hospital President and CEO Maureen Kahn said.

COVID-19 cases are on the rise at Blessing Hospital.

More patients are testing positive and hospital officials are working to stay prepared.

"We're changing some things here at the hospital," Kahn said.

Kahn said the hospital is making adjustments, as she expects to see COVID-19 cases climb, quickly, over the next couple of weeks.

"Starting tomorrow, you're going to see that all of the healthcare workers are going to be wearing masks," Kahn said.

She said every employee, whether they're on the front lines, or behind a desk, will wear one.

"We want them to put on a mask for an added form of protection," Kahn said.

The hospital is also changing the way it screens people who walk through the doors.

Kahn said they're going to start asking more new and different questions.

"Do you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath?"

"As we learn more and more about this virus, we're learning about some of the people who tested positive for this virus, that maybe they had some different symptoms, before the virus took on set with them," Kahn said.

She said after working with data to come up with predictive analytics, the hospital has enough beds to accommodate patients during a surge.

"We've gone through the building and we've increased our ciritcal care beds and we've made more in the hospital," Kahn said. "We're cross training a lot of nurses to be ready to handle it. We have enough ventilators to meet the surge capacity."

Blessing officials said they currently have 32 ventilators, along with a few others that they could use from other hospitals in the area.

There are also new visiting restrictions in place.

The only visitors allowed are parents, who have a child hospitalized or mothers who are giving birth and their birthing partner.

Kahn said they've also added more med surge beds.

She said they are also providing iPads to patients, to help them contact family members.

Kahn also wants to remind people to practice social distancing during the holiday weekend.

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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