GREENSBORO, N.C. — With stories of long ER wait times and elective surgeries being postponed again due to high COVID-19 patient hospitalization rates, you may be asking the same question that a fellow viewer had.
Why is Cone Health not opening the former Women's Hospital for COVID patients?
Here's a quick look at the backstory. In February of 2020, the Women's Hospital on Green Valley Road moved to the new location at the Cone Health Moses Cone Campus.
The facility on Green Valley became vacant, but then COVID hit, and in 28 days, hospital staff converted the Green Valley site into a COVID facility.
At least 4,700 patients were treated there. Then the hospital closed again.
But now, the patient count is once again on the rise. The question of why the hospital couldn't be used again for COVID patients only came up during our Q&A session Monday on 2 Wants To Know.
“When we had the COVID-19 hospital last year, it was really an extension of a lease, and unfortunately, that was not an option anymore. That hospital was decommissioned,” said Dr. Cynthia Snider, Cone Health’s Infection Prevention Medical Director.
Another Cone Health spokesperson sent a statement saying:
"We have reached the decision that COVID-19 isn’t going away and has become part of the current health care landscape. We drew on the lessons from Green Valley, and today we can treat large numbers of COVID-19 patients in our main hospitals."
Cone Health announced on Wednesday development company Deep River Partners acquired the decommissioned hospital. The deal went through 18 months ago but became official on September 1. Deep River Partners worked with Cone Health so the hospital could be turned into a COVID-only facility for 11 months during the pandemic.
LATEST COVID NUMBERS
The state is reporting more than 3,600 patients are getting treatment in North Carolina hospitals. Prior to August 31, 2021 numbers, we've seen three consecutive days with declining numbers. It wasn't a significant decrease, but it was the first time in two months that we'd seen three declining days in a row.
Guilford County hospitals are treating 150 patients. It's 10 fewer than the previous day and the lowest number the county has reported in a week and a half.