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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

The state moving patients from Governor Bacon facility to create alternate care site

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The state has selected some sites it will use to treat patients in the event of an overflow at Delaware’s hospitals due to the coronavirus.

One of Delaware’s alternate care facilities is the Governor Bacon long-term care facility in Delaware City. 

The state is moving patients and staff from Governor Bacon this week to another long-term care facility in Smyrna, the Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill. There they will be quarantined for 14 days before integrating with existing staff and residents.

Governor Bacon will then be deep cleaned and 75 of its beds will be made available to receive patients from New Castle County hospitals who are not clear to return to a long-term care facility.

“It moves those less critically ill individuals from the hospital to more of an intermediate step-down care facility,” said Delaware Emergency Management Agency Director A.J. Schall.  

One patient at Governor Bacon has tested positive for COVID-19. Schall says that individual will remain isolated there and continue to receive care, saying Governor Bacon will house non-COVID patients to start.

“The goal is that only negative patients would go there. I can’t tell you that if we see the peak that some people have projected,” said Schall. “We will do it in a very controlled manner where if we do have potentially positives in there they would go to one part of the building, negatives would be put in the other.”  

Nemours A.I. Dupont Children’s Hospital has also made room in its rehabilitation gymnasium for low-acuity patients and has added an additional ICU unit staffed with Delaware National Guard.

The Nemours site was identified as having the “most efficiencies” in New Castle County after a survey by the Army Corps of Engineers. It is excepted to be up and running this week.

Schall says the site of a mobile medical unit in Sussex County will be named in the coming days. The state is also still considering using the old Milford Memorial Hospital as an alternate care facility.