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UHS team creates 41 more isolation rooms

March 26, 2020

The people of Team UHS have stepped up to the plate and responded in a unified and effective way to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Team members have been working diligently to care for patients while keeping each other safe as well.

One very substantial action has been the expansion of UHS Hospitals' negative-pressure room capacity. 

Over the past week, the Facilities Team at UHS Hospitals worked proactively to develop additional negative-pressure rooms at UHS Wilson Medical Center and UHS Binghamton General Hospital to further protect patients and staff. 

These capabilities were developed in the event that Greater Binghamton should realize a surge of both suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases. 

Until the coronavirus outbreak, UHS Hospitals had six negative-pressure rooms at UHS Wilson and four at UHS Binghamton General, but has now added 41 more rooms.  North Wing 4 at UHS Wilson and Memorial 6 at UHS Binghamton General are nursing units that are entirely negative-pressure. 

Also, anterooms have been built to allow staff to change in an out of personal protective clothing more efficiently and safely. 

Negative room pressure is an isolation technique used in hospitals and medical centers to prevent cross-contamination from room to room.  It includes a ventilation method that generates negative pressure to allow air to flow into the isolation room but not escape from the room. 

Air will naturally flow from areas with higher pressure to those with lower pressure, thereby preventing contaminated air from escaping the room.

This technique is used to isolate patients with airborne contagious diseases, such as tuberculosis, measles, chickenpox, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV), influenza (flu), and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).