Emergency Field Hospital Set Up In Lenoir For COVID Patients

Jan 4, 2021

In this May 7, 2020, file photo, the Rev. Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan's Purse, sits for a portrait at his group's field hospital in New York's Central Park.
Credit Jessie Wardarski / AP Photo

A 30-bed emergency field hospital is being set up and staffed in Lenoir to deal with an overflow of COVID-19 patients in the region.

Boone-based Samaritan's Purse expects the tent hospital will be ready to accept patients in the next few days. It won't have an ICU for the sickest patients who need a ventilator, but Samaritan's Purse Communications Director Melissa Strickland says it will be a backstop for five hospitals in Western North Carolina.

"Their healthcare workers have been working day and night to fight this disease. They're exhausted, they're stressed, and yet they're continuing to heroically fight. And our goal is to come alongside of them to provide some capacity to take some of the strain off," said Strickland.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 statewide hit all-time highs at the beginning of January. 

Samaritan's Purse set up field hospitals in Italy and New York earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.