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Baton Rouge General Mid City to reopen hospital services serving COVID-19 patients

1 month 3 weeks 6 days ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 March 31, 2020 2:25 PM March 31, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Five years after closing its Mid City campus ER and moving most regular hospital care operations to Baton Rouge General off Bluebonnet, some hospital services will return to the Florida Boulevard location focused on COVID-19 patients.

The expanded service at Baton Rouge General Mid City comes as the Greater Baton Rouge area works to curtail the spread of coronavirus.

WBRZ was first to report the hospital was reopening Monday. 

There were just more than 160 COVID-19 cases in East Baton Rouge Parish alone as of Sunday, the last time the state updated its patient numbers.  New patient information is released daily at noon, and the case load is expected to grow as more people are tested for the virus.  Click HERE for the latest patient information in Louisiana.

The ER at Baton Rouge General Mid City closed in March 2015 and critical care was shifted to the BRG location on Bluebonnet.  Since, the Mid City location focused on caring for elderly patients, chronic conditions, behavior health issues and recovery services. 

Earlier this month, the Mid City location opened as a drive-up COVID-19 testing center for people referred there by a doctor.

In a statement, the hospital said: "At Baton Rouge General, we have spent the last several weeks mobilizing every resource we have to prepare. We have thousands of team members working every day to care for patients. However, our Mid City hospital has units that are not being used to their full capacity. This weekend, we finalized an agreement to make our Mid City hospital an important part of our region’s [plan to increase hospital beds]" - called a surge plan.

Patients at Bluebonnet and in existing Mid City units will not be moved and will continue to be cared for in the same way they have been, the hospital said.

The newly opened beds will operate as a separate acute-care hospital that is equipped and staffed to care for COVID-19 patients who are not able to get care elsewhere.

"We will work closely with the other hospitals in our area to be flexible and collaborative as we all work together through this challenge," a Baton Rouge General spokesperson said in a statement released to WBRZ.

Part of the hospital could be open at some point this week and expand in phases, as needed.

The hospital is looking to hire additional staff at the Mid City facility.

"We are asking any and all clinically trained professionals to consider joining us as we fight this virus," the hospital said.

Clinicians who work in surgery centers that are currently closed, nurses in clinics that aren’t seeing patients right now, or even people who may have transitioned into other careers are asked to apply at www.brgeneral.org.

Our Lady of the Lake was increasing some hospital bed space, the governor said in a news conference Sunday afternoon. 

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Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

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