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VCU: No need yet to open satellite site for patients

SoVaNow.com / December 16, 2020
Although COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased rapidly in Virginia in recent weeks, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital has not activated its satellite facility on Buena Vista Circle for treatment of an influx of patients.

Ken Kurz, director of marketing and development at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, said the satellite building — former home of Community Memorial Healthcenter before VCU opened its new hospital facility in South Hill in October 2017 — is ready for use, if necessary.

“CMH Buena Vista continues to be at the ready in case it is needed for COVID patients. It is part of CMH’s overall COVID response plan, but at this point it has not been activated,” said Kurz.

In April, Richmond-based VCU Health applied to the Virginia Department of Health for the expansion of 460 licensed beds, to be distributed throughout VCU campus sites in Richmond and in South Hill. The request included 130 beds at the old CMH building on Buena Vista Circle, which closed when VCU-CMH moved into the 70-bed facility on North Mecklenburg Avenue.

At the time, Kurz said, “the stand-up of the old hospital on Buena Vista Circle is to prepare for patients who may present to our hospital. Our primary and secondary service areas encompass a large part of south central Virginia and north central North Carolina, and we are preparing to be able to handle additional patients if the need arises.”

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital CEO Scott Burnette called it “a precautionary step to make sure we have the capacity to handle any and all patients who present at CMH.”

More than 2,000 Virginians are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 statewide, an increase of over 80 percent in the last four weeks. Gov. Ralph Northam, in imposing new curbs on statewide activity last week, said one reason for the restrictions was to protect hospitals from being overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.



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