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Medical Center of Southeast Texas resets COVID-19 rooms back to 'original use'

Early last year the hospital converted 71 rooms for use in treating those with the coronavirus.

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — At least one Southeast Texas hospital has begun to return portions of its facilities dedicated to caring for COVID-19 patients back to their original uses.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Above video os from April 5, 2021.)

The Medical Center of Southeast Texas announced Wednesday that, because of the decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations, the hospital would be returning more than 70 rooms back to their usual uses.

Early last year the hospital converted 71 rooms for use in treating those with the coronavirus and brought them up to CDC standards to meet guidelines for treatment of the COVID-19 virus according to a news release from the hospital.

One converted area that will remain in use is an isolation waiting area the hospital set up in the emergency room for patients who arrive there with COVID-like symptoms the release said.

“Returning these floors to their original purpose signals a hopeful time for our hospital family and for our community. We will maintain the ability to expand our covid hospitalization capacity should the need arise,” Medical Center of Southeast Texas President, Josh Snow was quoted as saying in the release.

Hospital officials are hoping that converting the rooms back to normal use will help signal to Southeast Texans that they can safely return to the hospital for all their medical needs, especially things like regular health screenings, according to spokesperson Angie Hebert.

From a Medical Center of Southeast Texas news release…

Our community continues to see a decline in Covid-19 related hospitalizations. We are encouraged to see Southeast Texas benefit from the combined efforts of wearing a mask, physical distancing and greater access to vaccines. As a result, The Medical Center of Southeast Texas is able to begin the reinstatement of multiple dedicated Covid-19 units within our Port Arthur campus, back their original use.  Certain areas of our hospital were proactively converted at the start of this crisis to manage the surge of Covid-19 cases in our community. Rededicating these floors to their original purpose, expands our diversity of care and broadens treatment plans for a variety of non-covid conditions. We remain vigilant in the fight against Covid-19 with dedicated resources still in place and proactive plans for expansion readily accessible.    

 Early in 2020, The Medical Center of Southeast Texas converted 71 rooms to meet the guidelines for Covid treatment as dictated by the CDC.  These conversions included air quality modifications, additional equipment, and clinical staff. Additional measures were taken to secure the only isolation waiting area in Southeast Texas.  This area will stay in use for patients arriving in our ER with covid-like symptoms to ensure the safety of all those in seeking urgent and emergent care.    

The Medical Center of Southeast Texas President, Josh Snow stated, “We are so proud of our clinical teams and providers for their unwavering support during this pandemic. Their dedication to the community we all serve is nothing short of heroic.” Snow also said of the closures, “returning these floors to their original purpose signals a hopeful time for our hospital family and for our community. We will maintain the ability to expand our covid hospitalization capacity should the need arise.”

Dr. Gary Mennie, Chief Medical Officer for The Medical Center of Southeast Texas said, “There is a growing amount of confidence in vaccines and preventative measures for Covid-19. I am very happy to see the considerable decline of covid hospitalizations and rededicating our resources to their original purpose.” 

The Medical Center of Southeast Texas remains dedicated to outstanding healthcare, in a thoughtful and safe environment.

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