CoxHealth is converting a floor at its south Springfield hospital to be dedicated to coronavirus care.
Dubbed by the health care system as a hospital within a hospital, the floor is scheduled to be rebuilt into ward-style areas for patients with the respiratory illness requiring ventilator support. Officials marked an aggressive timeline of installing the unit by April 9, according to a news release.
“When Cox South doubled in size five years ago, several floors of the new tower were left empty so we could develop the space as needs arose,” said Steve Edwards, president and CEO of CoxHealth, in the release. “A need in our community is now here, and we are ready to help our patients have the best chance of recovery that we can give them by developing some of that space.
"I pray it is never used.”
J.E. Dunn Construction Co. is leading work on the floor conversion, Edwards said, along with other contractors and subcontractors.
The floor conversion would allow patients to receive care in large spaces, rather than individual rooms, and better conserve the hospital's personal protective equipment, according to the release.
CoxHealth spokeswoman Kaitlyn McConnell said a cost estimate for the project was not available this morning.
Earlier this week, Mercy Hospital Springfield held a virtual blessing for a new temporary triage facility located outside the hospital's north emergency room entrance.
The facility is designed to quickly provide help and masks to patients who think they might have COVID-19. It's not being used as a testing site, according to a news release, and serves as a first site of contact for patients coming to the hospital via ambulance.
As of this morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 68,440 confirmed cases in the U.S. and 994 deaths. Government and health departments in southwest Missouri are announcing cases as they are confirmed, with 23 cases and three deaths in Greene County.
Retro Metro changed ownership; print shop Grafpros expanded to Mount Vernon; and the new headquarters and third full-service branch in Springfield for Multipli Credit Union opened.