More than a week after opening its doors, the temporary surge hospital at the Champlain Valley Expo Center admitted its first patient Friday.
The 400-bed facility, which is staffed by medical personnel from the Vermont National Guard, was supposed to act as a release valve for hospitals, allowing them to focus on COVID-19 patients and others with serious conditions that require hospitalization.
As it turns out, the Essex facility’s first admission is a confirmed case of COVID-19
“The state called us to take care of one positive COVID patient, that needed some special needs, and we were prepared to take that patient,” said Gino Trevisani, surgeon for the Vermont National Guard.”
Trevisani said that, although the temporaty hospital wasn’t created primarily for COVID-19 patients, it’s prepared for them.
“It all depends on what the states needs are,” he said. “We’re here, we’re available, we’ve trained. The facility is set, and we’re ready to receive patients at the needs of the state.”
Maj. Amber Macrae, an anesthesiologist with the Vermont Air Guard, said she’s happy to be in apostion to help.
“I’m new to the Burlington guard unit, and this has been one of the most rewarding opportunities to try to help Vermont state communities,
‘ she said. “Just getting to know the Army, getting to know our folks better.”
If you are injured or need to treatment, go to the hospital first, whre you will be routed to the Expo Center, if necessary.