Local hospital prepares for potential second surge of COVID-19

BROCKTON, Mass. — For weeks we have been hearing from health officials that there could be another surge in coronavirus cases in the fall. For one local city that’s been hit hard by the pandemic, they aren’t taking any chances, and are preparing now. An international medical team just put up a medical field hospital in Brockton.

CEO of Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital, Kim Hollon says, they are preparing for another COVID-19 surge in the near future. This comes as the community is getting tested for the virus.

“We are still seeing about 10% of our test turn positive, we know there are people in the community that have COVID and it spreads easily,” said Kim Hollon.

“Space and distance is our big problem,” said Kim Walsh, the senior VP for patient services at Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital.

“The pandemic is not over yet,” Said Dr. Scott Lillibridge.

Dr. Scott Lillibridge is the director for emergency response for international medical corporation.

Lillibridge and his team have been going around the world to help hospitals with the COVID-19 surge.

“It’s critical community hospital, in an area that was hard hit,” said Lillibridge.

The international non-profit team is building a medical field unit at Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital, which can handle up to 100 patients a day.

The last time they had tents like this, was during the Spanish Flu pandemic, nearly 100 years ago.

“Creating new spaces in the hospital to extend critical care beds,” said Lillibridge.

Brockton has one of the highest infection rates with more than 3,700 positive cases and close to 230 deaths.

“As we go into a second surge, we may be using these tents for testing for community, or for chronic issues,” said Hollon.

From the community to the healthcare workers, they were all hit hard by the pandemic.

“The staff has become ill, and have become ill and return to work. I see it time and time again,” said Lillibridge.

Hospital officials want the public to know, they are ready to shift gears in case there is another surge. At the same time, they are asking patients not to delay care for non-COVID related problems. The tent is expected to be up and running by next week.

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