St. Bernards anticipates high patient occupancy

As the pandemic continues into the winter season, St. Bernards has a plan in the event hospitalization increases.

Hospital prepares for surge in patients

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - St. Bernards Medical Center has had a plan since the beginning of the pandemic in March if patient occupancy surges.

With the winter season ahead, they anticipate more hospitalizations with COVID-19 positive cases, as well as influenza and pneumonia.

St. Bernards plans to increase its COVID-19 patient capacity by 180 beds.

With their new medical tower open since last December, the medical center has expanded its capacity to care for all patients.

Their regional partners have allowed them access to as many as 300 beds.

According to St. Bernards Vice President of Nursing, Angela Smith, no one should avoid seeking medical attention if needed.

“People need to seek care and not delay care and not be afraid of coming to the hospital when it’s necessary. And like I mentioned we are able to care for all patients that present and we look at that daily and take that very seriously and have processes in place and plans in place to ensure that we’re able to take care of everyone should they need that care,” Smith said.

Smith says that COVID patients will be in separate units from non-COVID patients.

St. Bernards will continue to review their contingency plans as the winter season approaches.

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