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UNC Health Redies For COVID-19 Patients

UNC Health set up a medical triage tent in front of its main hospital in Chapel Hill specifically for coronavirus patients.
Jay Price

UNC Health is planning for a surge of COVID-19 patients in the coming weeks.

Emergency services director Christian Lawson said UNC hospitals have an adequate amount of personal protective equipment available for nurses and doctors right now.

Still, Lawson said they are making contingency plans for a variety of scenarios should things get worse, like if half of UNC Health providers were to contract COVID-19, or if an entire hospital needs to be converted to only treat COVID-19 patients.

"I want to be criticized in six months for over planning and likely, probably spending too much money because these responses are obviously really expensive, but I think we can not mess around with this virus at all," Lawson said.

Lawson added that UNC hospital sites have plans in motion to make more rooms available for COVID-19 patients as needed, including not scheduling any elective surgeries for the near future.

Celeste Gracia covers the environment for WUNC. She has been at the station since September 2019 and started off as morning producer.
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