Home » Sharon » Field hospital is gone, elective surgeries return

Field hospital is gone, elective surgeries return

SHARON — The field hospital that was erected outside Sharon Hospital in recent months has been dismantled, and elective surgeries and procedures have resumed.

The temporary, brown tent-like structure, owned by the state Department of Public Health, was constructed in the entry to the hospital by members of the Connecticut militia at the start of the pandemic. 

And on Tuesday, May 19, it came down as quickly as it was erected.

 “The state has made it available as needed,” said Dr. Mark Hirko, president of Sharon Hospital, in a telephone interview the following day. The field hospital was to be used as a back-up facility during the height of the pandemic, but thankfully, said Hirko, it was not needed. If it is needed in the future, he said, depending on whether a second wave of the coronavirus emerges in the fall, it can go up and be in operation very quickly.

The other big news to come out of Sharon Hospital is that elective surgeries and procedures at all Nuvance Health hospitals and ambulatory care centers in Connecticut are resuming. Hirko said that Sharon hospital has been preparing for weeks to resume a limited number of elective surgeries and procedures starting with high-priority patients and those most acutely in need. 

“We’ve opened elective surgeries, which are at 25 percent of normal volume,” reported Hirko. “It’s going slow and safely to make sure we get everything ironed out.” 

In a release issued May 20, Kerry Eaton, chief operating officer for Nuvance Health, echoed Hirko’s sentiment. “We were able to safely provide essential surgical care despite the pandemic around us. We are approaching resuming elective surgical care the same way: with thoughtful planning and a resolve to get this right.”

Dr. Jeffrey Nicastro, Nuvance Health’s chair of surgery, advised patients to not put their health on hold. “We’ve put extensive measures in place to promote safety and the patient experience. Our process ensures every step to resuming elective surgeries and procedures is seamless and safe.”

There will be mandatory COVID-19 tests for patients scheduled for a surgical procedure. Patients are required to have negative test results within two days of their procedure, and they must self-isolate and follow stringent safety precautions to avoid possible infection between testing and the procedure date itself.

The hospital is also requiring that any patients who test positive for a COVID-19 infection be retested before elective surgery is scheduled. The hospitals and ambulatory centers are continuing visitor restrictions. All facilities are employing CDC-based enhanced cleaning and sterilization regimens and enforcing proper use of personal protective equipment, according to the press release.

Also, social distancing will be maintained in common areas, and all patients, visitors and staff must wear masks. Any COVID-19 patients in the hospitals will be treated in a separate area, and Nuvance Health Virtual Visit care options are expanded to keep unnecessary patients out of the facilities. 

Patients whose care was postponed are being contacted to schedule appointments. For more information, they should contact their physician directly or go to www.nuvancehealth.org/safecare.

More Information

TriCorner News

Copyright The Lakeville Journal
PO Box 1688, Lakeville, CT 06039
All Rights Reserved

Policies, including Privacy and Ethics

Support Local Journalism