More medical surge sites announced for Vermont 50-bed medical trailers for Brattleboro, Mt. Ascutney

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

The Scott administration today announced that two more medical surge sites will be established — one in Rutland and one in Essex Junction —  as the state prepares for a large increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.

In a press release today, Gov. Phil Scott said the state will  continue to expand its medical surge capacity to be prepared for what could be a significant increase in medical need in Vermont in the coming weeks.

“While we hope we will not need this extra capacity, our modeling indicates we must be prepared for a significant surge in medical care to treat Covid-19 patients,” said Scott. “We are taking these steps to ensure we are as prepared as possible for what could come.”

The increases were coordinated with communities and hospitals statewide and with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, the press release stated. 

Closer to home, medical surge trailers containing material for 50 more beds have been placed at  Brattleboro Memorial Hospital in Brattleboro and Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center in Windsor. More assets — including two state portable hospitals — also will be set up, but where is unknown. The release noted that all of these medical assets can be deployed quickly if needed but it did not say if the hospitals or the Guard will staff them.

The two high-capacity care sites up north will be at the Champlain Valley Exposition Center in Essex Junction, providing 400 beds and staffed primarily by Guard personnel, and in Rutland County, a 150-facility supported by the Rutland Regional Medical Center.

The two new sites will be in addition to three rolled out early last week at the Collins Perley Sports and Fitness Center in St. Albans, the Barre Civic Center in Barre and at the University of Vermont.

According to the press release, surge sites will be operated in close coordination with health care providers and will only be used if hospitals exceed their capacity.

In addition to the Vermont National Guard and health care leaders, the state is working to increase capacity through partnerships with home health providers, designated agencies, federally qualified health centers like the clinics run by Springfield Medical Care Systems. The release did not expand on what the state is or will be doing along those lines.


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