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Billings Clinic sets up 20 extra beds to help with COVID case surge

Posted at 5:00 PM, Nov 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-14 19:00:54-05

Billings Clinic is bringing in more resources, including 20 new beds, and making adjustments to deal with an increase in COVID-19 cases.

The Montana Department of Disaster and Emergency Services sent a semi-load of supplies.

The truckload has a 20-bed package, which also includes hospital room equipment and a 30-day supply of personal protective equipment.

Montana National Guard members helped unload and set up the new capacity unit.

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Beds were set up in what were sleep rooms for physicians on call and surgical staff offices.

Billings Clinic Foundation President Jim Duncan said the rooms had been set up for pre-operative care and have the equipment needed for patients.

The new rooms will be used for non-COVID-positive patients.

The hospital is putting two patients in some of the rooms.

"We've been able to revert some of our rules to that in a very safe manner," said Dr. Toni Green, Billings Clinic chief medical officer. "We have a checklist of things to make sure it's safe to put two patients together. And the patients have actually been extremely welcoming of it as far as 'we're just happy for the care' and they remember a lot of the days when they didn't have a bunkmate if you will, so that's one of the ways in which we increase our capacity."

The doctors on call will now rest at nearby hotels and since there are no gatherings, offices will be set up at the Mary Alice Fortin Health Conference Center.

Green said as of Friday morning, there were 78 COVID-19 positive patients at Billings Clinic.

The numbers have been in the 80s during the peak time.

The hospital is at 108 percent capacity.