Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital officials are running low on supplies to handle the influx of people in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
David P. Bernard, Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital CEO, sent out an email Monday via the Baytown Chamber of Commerce network with a request for assistance. In the email, he said the hospital is in need of “personal protective equipment that is utilized across the
health care, oil and gas, chemical, and industrial painting industries.”
“We can use help from anyone who has access to these supplies and current inventories,” Bernard wrote in the email.
Some of the items include N95 masks with 3M model numbers 8210, 1860, 1860S, 1870+, and Moldex N95 in all sizes. Other requested items include powered air-purifying respirators, Tyvek suits, isolation gowns, Nitrile disposable gloves, and new or reusable face shields.
Rod Evans, hospital spokesman, addressed the questions on the hospital lacking supplies.
“We are currently doing well when it comes to supplies, but we have planned in case of a surge,” Evans said. “This is a rapidly changing situation, so we are staying on top of what we need and are planning for what is ahead.”
Evans was asked if the hospital staff had been tested.
“Much like patients, we do not comment on who has and has not been tested,” he said.
Evans said the hospital has been preparing for COVID-19 for months.
“Today, we have opened our Highly Infectious Disease Unit at Houston Methodist Continuing Care Hospital in Katy,” he said. “This unit has 20 beds, with 22 more coming in the near future, and it will house the sickest COVID-19 patients.”
Evans said the Ebola scare from a few years ago was a useful trial run for them to handle an infectious disease event such as the one with the coronavirus.
“Our caregivers continually train, and we are prepared to handle this situation if we see an influx of patients,” he said. “Starting today, there will be no elective non-urgent surgeries and procedures across all of the Houston Methodist hospitals. Starting Wednesday, elective non-urgent diagnostic and ancillary testing will stop across the system. However, all elective urgent and emergency surgeries, procedures and testing will continue. This is a very fluid situation, and we are working closely with the city and other institutions across the Texas Medical Center to stop the spread of this virus.”
The hospital’s visitor policy has also been updated once again.
Visitation is limited to one visitor, who is over 18, per patient per day. Visiting hours are now from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visitors will be asked to leave at the end of visiting hours and invited to return the next day. Visitors must also be screened upon entry by answering questions, having their temperature checked, and asked to wear that day’s wristband to show they’ve been screened.
“We encourage everyone to continue to practice social distancing, good hand hygiene, and to listen to local officials when it comes to staying away from large gatherings,” Evans said. “We are all in this together, and if we take drastic measures now, we have a much better chance of flattening the curve and stopping the spread of this virus before hospitals across the city are overwhelmed by an influx of patients.”