Emergency hospitals established for pandemic response

Two emergency field hospitals would receive patients in the case of a surge in COVID-19 patients. - Photo: Hazard Management Cayman Islands

Two emergency field hospitals will serve for patient overflow in Grand Cayman, in the case that COVID-19 cases stretch capacity at local hospitals.

The hope is that Cayman will never need to use the facilities, said Hazard Management Director Danielle Coleman, but the aim is to prepare for worst.

“We have 60 beds that we could activate for tomorrow, for example,” Coleman said, adding that surge capacity should permit for further expansion if needed.

One of the field hospitals, located at Family Life Centre on Walkers Road, will serve as a dedicated COVID-19 facility, intended primarily for mild rather than severe cases. Cayman Islands Hospital and Health City Cayman Islands would continue to serve as the frontline facilities for the most severe hospitalisations.

“Whether we need it for COVID or not, the test of time will tell us that. But it really is a brilliant facility to be able to step up in the future if we need to have a field hospital,” she said.

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The Jasmine facility on West Bay Road would serve as a second emergency hospital for non-COVID-19 cases. This location would allow the Health Services Authority to free up hospital space for management of COVID-19 patients, explained Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, medical officer of health, during Friday’s press conference.

The emergency facilities were set up through the National Emergency Operations Centre, including Hazard Management Cayman Islands, the Health Services Authority and partners in civil service.

Minister Joseph Hew visited the Walkers Road location on Friday and praised the Public Works Department for its contribution to the initiative.

“Today I had a chance to visit the emergency field hospital assembled by the men and women of the Public Works Department,” Hew wrote.

A field hospital has been set up at the Family Life Centre in the event that local hospitals become overwhelmed with COVID cases
A field hospital has been set up at the Family Life Centre in the event that local hospitals become overwhelmed with COVID cases, a scenario local health officials say is unlikely if encouraging results continue. – Photo: Courtesy Joey Hew

“These dedicated PWD employees are constantly called to the front line to prepare for hurricanes, earthquakes, sargassum, and now COVID-19. I tip my hat and salute them for their dedication to our safety.”

Coleman described the field hospitals and their supplies as assets for Cayman that could be deployed if needed for future emergencies.

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