MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — Since the COVID-19 pandemic began Jackson Hospital has reached its full capacity to care for COVID patients many times.
Hospital engineers came up with a plan to make caregiving easier during a pandemic or a surge.
“We’re trying to get funding to produce a pandemic wing in our hospital,” Engineering and Maintenance Director Kevin Daniel said.
Patients with COVID or a respiratory illness, like tuberculosis, need these specialty pressure rooms to keep germs from spreading.
“The particles of the virus, or the bacteria, are so small that they can be dispersed into the air for long distances,” Infection Prevention Director Kaye Robinson said.
Robinson said particles from viruses like the flu and strep don’t travel very far because they’re bigger.
Jackson Hospital’s third floor has 19 rooms.
Hospital officials said by modifying those rooms into pressure changing rooms, they’ll be able to move patients into any one of them regardless of their illness.
“The project basically entails putting a new air handler onto the roof, and new exhaust systems and new controls for each of the rooms so they can be regulated so we can take either normal patients or isolation patients in any room,” Daniel said.
Officials said if they get the grant, they plan to reconstruct the whole third floor– even turning some offices into pressure-changing patient rooms.
Daniel said they’re asking for final grant approval at Tuesday’s commission meeting.
Final paperwork and estimates are due November 1.