Jim Davis, vice president of nursing services at CarolinaEast Medical Center, answers questions about COVID-19 and CEMC’s current situation.
Q: Are there 14 patients at CEMC, or are they counting some at PruittHealth and other facilities where there have been outbreaks?
A: The health department reports Craven County residents that are hospitalized. There is never going to be matching numbers based on the time of day, and County of residence for our patients. We started the day yesterday with 17 Covid-19 positive hospitalized patients, and currently there are 13 hospitalized COVID positive patients, but they are not all Craven County residents; we have patients from multiple counties. There also may be Craven County residents hospitalized at other hospitals.
Q: What is CEMC’s capacity for COVID-19 patients?
A: We will serve all that seek care here. We are licensed to care for up to 350 inpatient care beds. Our normal census runs just over 200, which is indicative of our current census.
Q: It was stated on social media that CEMC has 11 beds in its COVID unit and that as of recently, all beds are full and there are additional cases waiting for beds, not counting cases in the ICU. Can you confirm that?
A: We currently have 3 COVID positive patients in the ICU, therefore the beds in the specified “COVID” unit are not currently full. We have transitioned other units to be able to care for COVID positive patients in the event we do reach capacity on the primary “COVID” unit. All COVID positive patients have beds and are being cared for appropriately. We do not anticipate running out of room to care for anyone in need of medical treatment, COVID related or otherwise. We have made plans since February to be able to increase the number of beds designated for ICU patients as well as COVID patients if the need should arise.
Q: Is there any other information about COVID-19 as it relates to CEMC that would be helpful for people to understand the current situation?
A: We have had recent increased inpatients and deaths directly related to outbreaks in local skilled nursing facilities. Specific outbreaks and clusters of COVID patients can be located on the NCDHHS website. We remain capable in terms of bed, staffing and PPE availability. Our staff continue to handle this unprecedented health crisis with ceaseless compassion and professionalism. We couldn’t be more proud of them!