Samaritan's Purse builds emergency field hospital in western NC to aid in COVID-19 surge

LENOIR, N.C. (WTVD) -- As North Carolina reported a record number of hospitalizations 23 times in December for COVID-19 cases, the humanitarian group, Samaritan's Purse is doing its first good deed of the year by setting up an Emergency Field Hospital in the western part of the state.

The international headquarters of Samaritan's Purse, led by Reverend Franklin Graham, is located in Boone, N.C. The group is constructing a 30-bed field hospital for COVID-19 patients in Lenoir, North Carolina in a parking lot at the UNC Caldwell Health Care Center.

The field hospital will support five regional partners:
  • Caldwell UNC Health Care in Lenoir
  • Appalachian Regional Healthcare System in Boone
  • Catawba Valley Health System in Hickory
  • Carolinas Healthcare System Blue Ridge in Morganton
  • Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory.

"We have deployed Emergency Field Hospitals around the world in response to hurricanes, earthquakes, and disease," said Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham. "Now, it is needed in our backyard. We are grateful we can come alongside North Carolina hospitals in Jesus' Name to care for patients suffering from the coronavirus."

The mobile unit will be staffed by a team of Samaritan's Purse disaster relief personnel including doctors, nurses, and other healthcare specialists. Patients receiving treatment at the site will be limited to those who are COVID-positive but who do not need the support of a ventilator.

The number of COVID-patients has spiked especially in the western region of North Carolina in recent weeks. The Emergency Field Hospital is expected to take 48-hours to construct and will welcome patients in the first full week of 2021.

The North Carolina field hospital marks the fourth Samaritan's Purse has constructed in response to the coronavirus pandemic along with others in New York City, Italy, and the Bahamas.
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