COVID-19 units for ICU patients at NCH being prepped for potential storms

Southwest Florida hospitals are equipped with hurricane impact windows to withstand a Category 5 storm, but at least one had to take out some of those impact windows to rapidly turn rooms into pressured isolation rooms for COVID-19 patients.

WINK News investigative reporter Lauren Sweeney went inside NCH North Naples to find out if the hospital would be secured before any impacts from Tropical Storm Laura.

NCH said they have set a goal of having it all resolved by the last week of August, so it’s going to come down to the wire.

Here is the issue – there is plywood in the windows of several critical care rooms so a vent could be installed.

The vent takes air outside, so when you open the door, any particles in the air from the COVID-19 patients don’t spread to the rest of the ICU.

Now that it’s the heart of hurricane season, the hospital has to pivot and get those windows back in.

“Plywood is obviously not as protective as the window, so the windows are going to have to go back in. We’ve purchased, and now have fitted, a different type of headboard air scrubber, that effectively also clears the virus.”

NCH said crews are nearly complete in replacing the remaining glass panes and the portable systems have been installed in the occupied ICU rooms where the window unit was removed.

Reporter:Lauren Sweeney
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