JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Ballad Health is temporarily relocating some staff members in order to increase capacity for COVID-19 patients.
In a letter sent to elected officials on Friday, the health system outlined its plan to increase COVID-19 capacity by 50 beds to a total of 150 beds.
Ballad is placing a temporary pause on all admissions and surgical procedures at Hancock County Hospital and Hawkins County Memorial Hospital so that staff members can be relocated to Holston Valley Medical Center “to prepare for COVID-19 surge capacity.”
Inpatient care providers at Unicoi County Hospital are being relocated to Johnson City Medical Center and Sycamore Shoals Hospital.
Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Progressive Care Unit (PCU) capacity at Franklin Woods Community Hospital and Greeneville Community Hospital East are being temporarily reduced so that staff can be moved to Johnson City Medical Center.
At Russell County Hospital and Smyth County Community Hospital, Ballad is discontinuing ICU admissions and capping inpatient census in order to relocate staff members to increase capacity at Johnston Memorial Hospital and Bristol Regional Medical Center.
“Shifting these team members to our tertiary hospitals is the best option we have right now to meet our anticipated need,” Ballad said in the letter. “These temporary moves will maximize our resources at these facilities to enable us the ability to care for more COVID-19 patients within our region.”
Ballad said hospitalizations within its facilities had “almost tripled in the past week.”
As of Monday, the health system said it was treating 70 novel coronavirus patients, 15 of which were in intensive care and 11 were on ventilators.