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CRMC keeps patients separated, opens COVID-19-only floor for ICU patients

Posted at 6:30 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 18:30:26-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A visit to the ER is looking different now as hospitals focus on making sure patients coming in for non-coronavirus related issues don't come in contact with COVID-19 patients.

Capital Regional Medical Center basically split its ER in half. One side is all coronavirus and the other side is everything except the coronavirus.

CRMC's plan to keep potential coronavirus-positive patients away from other patients starts at the front door.

"Any patient, any visitor that comes through our doors is screened and we make sure they're screened appropriately," said Kris Foster, the director of Emergency Services at CRMC.

Screening involves a temperature check, a couple of questions, and making sure they're wearing a mask. From there, the patient is sent down one of two paths.

"Infection prevention is a big part of our goal here," Foster said. "So we segregate those patients populations. They don't share nurses, they don't share physicians, they don't share rooms that are considered COVID rooms."

The green path is for someone coming in for an issue that's not COVID-19. Anyone who experiences coronavirus symptoms is sent down the orange path.

Staff on the two sides don't mix and there's even a line on the floor showing where one path ends and the other begins.

"You feel better when you know the last patient wasn't a COVID patient," said Foster.

From extensive PPE to round the clock cleanings, CRMC says they're doing what they can to keep up.

During Memorial Day weekend, the hospital was dealing with about three patients. Now, they have 34.

If that number soars higher, the orange path grows longer.

"We kind of push back into other parts of the hospital and keep those orange and green paths segregated to make sure they're cared for safely," Foster said.

The hospital has also opened a floor completely dedicated to COVID-19 ICU cases and another floor dedicated to inpatient coronavirus treatment.