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Marshall ready to serve as COVID surge hospital

When the state approached Marshall Hospital leadership about becoming a COVID-19 surge facility, CEO Siri Nelson said she felt it was the hospital’s obligation to help support the county, region and state anyway it can.

When the state approached Marshall Hospital leadership about becoming a COVID-19 surge facility, CEO Siri Nelson said she felt it was the hospital’s obligation to help support the county, region and state anyway it can.

 

The state will provide the resources for the 111-bed hospital to add approximately 45 beds to house regional COVID-19 patients overflowing from other area hospitals.

 

“El Dorado County is our service area but we think it’s important to support health care as much as we can throughout the state,” Nelson said. “When the state comes and says ‘Can you help?’ — we do everything we can to do that.”

 

The state will provide about 60 traveling nurses, who have worked throughout the pandemic to cover those 45 beds, according to Marshall Chief Nursing Officer Cindy Rice.

 

“It could start at any time,” Rice said. “We’re anticipating probably in the next couple of weeks we would be seeing patients.”

 

inding rooms for the beds is something Nelson, Rice and Executive Director of Facilities and Support Services Takamori Saito have been diligently working on.

 

“We had some natural areas that would lend themself to surging space,” Saito said. “Our goal is making sure the space is safe for patient care.”

 

The hospital won’t fill the 45 beds immediately; instead Marshall staff said they expect to work up to that number over time.

 

Nelson, Rice, Saito and other Marshall officials came up with a plan to add more beds if needed when the pandemic began in 2020.

 

“When the state approached us we basically just took those old plans and said, ‘Is it still relevant and how can we use all the planning work we’ve already done?’” Nelson said.

 

Nelson added that additional staff will provide much needed relief to the Marshall healthcare workers, who have worked tirelessly since the pandemic began.

 

“Our staff is tired,” Nelson said. “We’ve been very busy and we’ve had staff out on either COVID precautions because they’ve been exposed or they’ve tested positive so they need to stay home.

© RMI Ministry of Health and Human services

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