PRMC preparing for COVID-19
SALISBURY, Md. – Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury is taking steps to prepare for an influx of COVID-19 patients and questions. “We know right now in this time of high anxiety and wondering what’s really out there and what information should I listen to, people are trying to understand where they can get the right answers,” said Dr. Kathryn Fiddler, vice president of population health at PRMC.
Friday nurses set up shop at PRMC’s brand new call center. The hospital tells 47 ABC they are now taking calls seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The health professionals taking calls are able to answer questions about COVID-19 and provide advice on how to stay healthy. “They can understand how their symptoms are, whether or not they should call a health provider, also whether or not they should isolate at home,” said Dr. Fiddler.
Outside in the parking lot, a large tent was set up in case the hospital needs extra space in a patient surge. PRMC’s chief nursing officer tells us this tent is one of a kind for the region, and will be shared by multiple other hospitals. “Currently we have a cleaning crew here. The tent came packaged very tightly and very neatly, so we need to undo that and with that comes a lot of opportunity to clean. We want to make sure that when we do we have the availability and they need to open it that it’s absolutely 100% ready for our patients, and we want to ensure that it is clean to start,” said Sarah Arnett. When the tent is ready, it’ll be equipped with temperature control, running water, and can hold up to 20 patients.
Because the tent is right underneath one of the hospital’s helicopter pads, the pad is shut down temporarily. Hospital officials say helicopters will land on another pad on the other side of the campus. Hospital officials also say that the city of Salisbury helped to organize everything. The city donated weighted barrels and concrete barriers to help keep the tent safely in place and out of the way of traffic.
PRMC says they’ll continue to monitor the volume of calls and what types of questions people are asking so they can adjust staffing at the call center as needed. If you have questions about COVID-19 or are worried about symptoms, you can reach the call center at (410) 912-6889.