Mission Preps Laguna Beach Hospital For Coronavirus Surge

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Mission Hospital temporarily expanded its care area by installing a triage tent in the emergency department’s parking lot in South Laguna on March 13. Photo by Daniel Langhorne

Mission Hospital of Laguna Beach has braced itself for a surge of patients infected by the coronavirus that’s predicted by state health officials.

To prevent the risk of spreading COVID-19, Mission stopped visitors from accompanying patients inside its hospitals starting March 16 in coordination with the Providence health care system.

“We understand this will be extremely difficult for our patients and their loved ones, but the potential of this pandemic cannot be ignored,” Mission spokesperson Carrier Arneth Miller wrote in an email. “Our hearts go out to all in our care but we know families want the best for our patients and those who work in our hospital.”

Although the Orange County Healthcare Agency reported Friday that Laguna Beach has 29 residents who tested positive for the coronavirus, Mission Hospital won’t disclose how many of its patients are infected with the virus to protect their privacy.

“We do not comment on our patients or confirm whether we are treating certain conditions,” Miller wrote. “Should we have patients test positive, we report to the appropriate health agency.”

Mission Hospital temporarily expanded its care area by installing a triage tent in the parking lots for its emergency department in South Laguna on March 13.

“These areas are allowing us to see people more quickly and to isolate symptomatic patients,” Miller wrote in an email.

A similar tent was installed last month in front of the emergency room at Kaiser Permanente Irvine Medical Center. Hospital staffers there are not allowing visitors to enter the emergency room.

Editor’s Note: Mission invites young artists who are being homeschooled to send a note of encouragement to caregivers. Artwork will be shared with doctors, nurses and other hospital staffers. Please scan or snap a photo of your note and email it to [email protected]

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