‘We are planning for different scenarios’; Dixie Regional Medical Center installs 2nd BLU-MED tent

Composite image | July 2018 background file photo of Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George by Mikayla Shoup. Inset photo of recently installed BLU-MED tent courtesy of Dixie Regional Medical Center, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Intermountain Dixie Regional Medical Center announced Wednesday that they have installed a second BLU-MED tent at the hospital in preparation for a possible surge in COVID-19 cases.

Interior of BLU-MED tent at Dixie Regional Medical Center, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Dixie Regional Medical Center, St. George News

According to a press release from Dixie Regional, thanks to community social-distancing and other efforts like reducing elective surgeries, patient volumes at the hospital remain low for this time of year.

“We are open and available to safely provide treatment, so care does not need to be delayed,” officials said in the press release.

That said, as predictive models continue to forecast a potential surge in COVID-19 cases, the hospital deployed a second BLU-MED tent owned by the Utah Department of Health on Wednesday.

Officials stated their gratitude to the agencies involved in joining Dixie Regional’s maintenance team to make the installation happen, including Washington County, St. George Fire Department, New Harmony Fire Department, Colorado City/Hildale Fire Department, the state of Utah Wildland Fire Department and Gold Cross.

The tent is located just south of the ambulance bay east of the emergency entrance, and its purpose is to potentially add 25 medical/surgical beds to Dixie Regional.

The first BLU-MED tent, which was deployed March 14, remains in place in case it is needed to extend the capacity of the emergency department. Both tents are part of preparedness efforts and other hospitals across Utah have set up similar tents. At this time, the tents at Dixie Regional are not in use.

In addition to these efforts, Dixie Regional’s surge planning includes collaborating with Intermountain Healthcare for resource allocation, facility optimization, staffing and equipment use.

“We are prepared to care for an increase of COVID-19 patients as well as patients with other healthcare needs,” officials said. “We are closely monitoring the progression of COVID-19 cases locally and across the Intermountain service area and coordinating related treatment efforts with the Southwest Utah Health Department, Utah Department of Health and the CDC. Although the future is unknown, we are planning for different scenarios and are well prepared.”

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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