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University Of Maryland Medical Center Set To Open 16-Bed Modular Care Unit For COVID-19 Patients

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Maryland, the University of Maryland Medical Center is set to open its new modular care unit to care for coronavirus patients.

UMMC broke ground on the 8,000-square-foot facility on the site of a parking lot in July. Construction began in September, and beginning Wednesday it will be able to care for 16 COVID-19 patients.

"We anticipate that we will continue to see admissions and hospitalizations, so this is much needed and well-timed," UMMC epidemiologist Gregory Schrank said.

The 16-bed facility will have more than 100 staff members dedicated to caring for patients battling the virus.


"This is, for all intents and purposes, an extension of the hospital," said Kristie Snedeker, UMMC's senior director of operations and care management.

The spectrum of care is vast but the hospital said all patients will be in a space built specifically for their needs.

"Some of the patients will care for here will still require support from a mechanical ventilator or breathing machine or significant amounts of oxygen therapy, but there may be patients who are really on the road to recovery," Schrank said.

The state provided the funds to build the unit and the hospital is providing the staff, including nursing supervisor Julia Hong.

"We are at the forefront of this pandemic, and I think a lot of consideration was taken and hearing the voices of nurses in this and what they needed to take care of these patients," she said.

UMMC isn't alone; Capital Region Health in Prince George's County built a similar unit to tackle overflow issues in their hospitals.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department's website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ's coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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