Dallas

Parkland Hospital to Expand COVID-19 Unit

The hospital downsized its original COVID-19 unit, but with a recent steady increase of cases, they're expanding and opening a new unit

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In March, Parkland Hospital turned it's operating space on the third floor into a Tactical Care Unit, or TCU, solely for COVID-19 patients.

Recently they downsized the TCU and took space back to handle surgeries once they resumed.

"We saw a drop off (of COVID-19 cases) a couple weeks ago, and have seen a steady increase," said Donna Richardson, the Chief Nursing Officer at Parkland Hospital. She said they've seen sometimes 80 to 90 patients.

Currently there are 111 beds for COVID-19 patients, but the new unit, which will be on the 14 floor, will add an extra 48 beds.

“Parkland is constantly evolving and planning for the future and we never get caught off guard and we always have plans for the ‘what ifs’ situations," Richardson explained.

She said the new unit will mimic the one that was on the third floor. There is only one way in and one way out for doctors and nurses who are dressed in personal protective equipment. The space will be converted into negative pressure rooms to minimize the spread of the disease.

“It’s definitely expanding, the opening of the additional floor is the deficit to make it even to the closing of the TCU," she said.

On Tuesday Gov. Greg Abbott will address record hospitalization numbers across the state.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said he's concerned the numbers in the county are hinting to a second wave and illustrated his concerns with an analogy about hospitalizations to an iceberg.

"That tip of the iceberg above what we can see in the water, that's in the hospital. Below that are all these sick people that aren't in the hospital. So when you see a number go up in hospitalizations, your iceberg is growing exponentially and below the water, those numbers can quickly overtake us," Jenkins explained.

For the last several days, Dallas County has reported more than 300 new cases a day. Jenkins believes the numbers reflect from reopening too soon and is concerned to see what happens in the coming weeks after the protests.

"Similarly the protest, it'll be weeks after the process that we'll see the full impact of any spread from the protest. Just as it’s been weeks after ‘Open Texas,’ that we were beginning to see the impact of those first decisions," said Jenkins.

Jenkins also responded to the news about Cowboy's Zeke Elliot who tested positive for COVID-19.

“What it tells is us look, if Zeke Elliott who is one of the most elite athletes in the world, can get COVID, anyone can get it. So if you’re young and you’re feeling invincible, don't," Jenkins said.


*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.


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