The Christian humanitarian group Samaritan's Purse is setting up emergency field hospitals to try and relieve some of the pressure as COVID-19 cases rise in California and the western part of North Carolina. Both states have seen record-high numbers of coronavirus hospitalizations, but help has arrived.
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) January 11, 2021
In Lenoir County, NC, a 10-tent, 30-bed facility was being built in a parking lot next to the emergency room at Caldwell UNC Health Care Center.
The site will serve COVID patients from five different health systems in the Tarheel State, including the Caldwell, UNC Center, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System in Boone, Catawba Valley Health System in Hickory, Carolinas Healthcare System Blue Ridge in Morganton, and Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory.
"On behalf of all the health systems participating in this effort, I'd like to thank Samaritan's Purse for making this investment in the well-being of our communities," said Laura Easton, president, and CEO of Caldwell UNC Health Care. "Planning for this added capacity now will help us provide the level of care our communities need as volumes continue to grow in our region."
Samaritan's Purse, which is led by Franklin Graham, is located in Boone, NC.
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This isn't the first time the humanitarian organization has set up field hospitals to serve those in need. Throughout this pandemic, Samaritan's Purse has also set up their hospitals in Italy, New York City, and the Bahamas.
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) January 9, 2021
"We have deployed Emergency Field Hospitals around the world in response to hurricanes, earthquakes, and disease," Graham said. "Now, it is needed in our backyard. We are grateful we can come alongside North Carolina hospitals in Jesus' Name to care for patients suffering from the coronavirus."
The Samaritan Purse's mobile unit will be staffed by the organization's team of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare specialists. Patients receiving treatment at the site will be limited to those who are COVID-positive but do not need the support of a ventilator.
The field hospital was transported on New Year's Day from the organization's warehouse in North Wilkesboro via Samaritan's Purse tractor-trailers. It is now being constructed on the grounds of Caldwell UNC Health Care, a site chosen for its central location.
The field hospital is scheduled to become fully operational this week.