The Nueces County Hospital District voted Thursday to allow County Judge Barbara Canales to officially begin the process of creating a dedicated single unit for all patients with severe COVID-19 infections in the region.
"The community, the county, the city, the hospital district -- we’re all working together to come up with the best solution for our community," Hospital District Chairman John Martinez said.
The plan is to convert part of the old CHRISTUS Spohn Memorial Hospital into the unit dedicated for COVID-19 patients. The hospital is currently serving as inpatient psychiatric units. Mental health patients will remain there even when the COVID-19 Unit opens.
"They will likely remain at Memorial but in a different building that will have it’s own HVAC system and other systems put in place to make sure there’s no kind of contamination or any kind of contact with COVID patients,” Martinez said.
Judge Canales is still working out the details for the unit with city, county, and Hospital District leaders. She also plans to meet with engineers, contractors, and architects.
Still she thinks it's possible to have the COVID-19 Unit up and running in 30 days.
"The county has been preparing for this day for a month," Judge Canales said. "So I’m not starting from scratch. I’m starting with the good stuff -- how we can implement immediately."
There is no estimated cost for the COVID-19 Unit so far, but those details could come to light at the next meeting between the Hospital Board and Judge Canales. Martinez hopes that meeting happens next week, but he said they'd push the meeting back if Judge Canales needed more time.