COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - On Wednesday, Prisma Health announced the creation of regional COVID-19 recovery units.
One of these units is based at Prisma Health Tuomey in Sumter. The other is at Prisma Health Laurens County. They will be available for all hospitals across the state to transfer patients to help relieve internal capacity challenges.
“This is not just about providing surge beds for COVID-19 patients. We also need to work together to ensure that all healthcare systems are able to continue providing all of the levels of care needed for our communities – both emergency and preventive care – without overwhelming their systems. We are exceptionally grateful for the support of our state partners to help all of our hospitals continue to provide exceptional care. While the vaccine is indeed the light at the end of the tunnel, people need to realize we’ve still got a lot of tunnel ahead of us,” said Dr. Karen Lommel, Prisma Health’s physician lead for the regional COVID-19 recovery unity.
The recovery center in Laurens opened on Monday while the recovery center in Sumter opened Wednesday.
The unit in Laurens has 29 beds and occupies the third floor of the Laurens County Hospital. There is a 12-bed unit at Prisma Health Tuomey which could expand to 24 beds as necessary and as staffing becomes available.
A unit could open at Prisma Health Baptist Hospital in Columbia could open as soon as next week. The unit is expected to be a 12-bed unit and could expand to 36 beds if necessary and once staffing becomes available.
Officials with Prisma Health said there will be about 125 nurses, respiratory therapists, clinicians, and personnel that will be used at the three recovery units. That would include 20 National Guardsmen.
Officials added this model may be deployed to other parts of the state as needed. Leaders with the South Carolina Hospital Association believe this model could be used nationwide.
Prisma Health partnered with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, the South Carolina National Guard, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, and the South Carolina Hospital Association to create the recovery units.