COVID Convalescent Unit for Laurens County Hospital

Prisma Health is planning to open a Convalescent Unit at the Laurens County Hospital next Monday, January 18th. In a statement to WLBG  News yesterday, Prisma noted, “In some instances, we are shifting personnel to hospitals that are more greatly affected by the surge. In other instances, such as at Laurens County Hospital, we are working to open a COVID-19 step-down unit so that we can move recovering patients out of acute care beds and into more appropriate step-down beds, thus opening the other beds for sicker patients.”

Prisma noted that this new unit, as approved by DHEC, will have 15 beds initially and will be supported by a combination of staffing provided by the S.C. Emergency Management Division and medics from the S.C. National Guard, who will supplement their nursing staff. “Four medics are currently assigned to that unit.”

Prisma Health advised WLBG that medics have already been working elsewhere in the Prisma Health system, noting they were used earlier in the Midlands to help with drive–thru testing.

Despite the COVID-19 surge since the holidays and its effect on tightening hospital capacity, Prisma Health states its using the system’s size and scale to adjust beds, staffing and other resources in order to continue to meet patient needs in all of the communities the system serves.

Prisma Health notes it’s also working with DHEC and other partners to prepare for future expansion of vaccines to the broader community. Prisma Health noted that as of January 7th, Prisma had vaccinated 15,966 healthcare workers and first responders at sites across its 21-county market area, working to create herd immunity to the coronavirus. The statement added, “We are currently evaluating new vaccination sites to accommodate the increased volume when the eligibility is expanded by DHEC.”

Since the pandemic began, Prisma Health notes it has served almost half a million patients (489,874) through telehealth virtual visits, 369,402 in the Upstate. The statement urges the public to help flatten the curve by social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands often.