Hospital Seeks Approval Of Emergency Department Expansion

ST. ALBANS, Vt. (AP) — The hospital in St. Albans is seeking approval to build a $7.5 million expansion of its emergency department.

The Northwestern Medical Center has been considering an upgrade to its emergency department, which was built around 1989, since before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, said Jonathan Billings, the hospital's vice president of community relations. COVID-19 has clearly exacerbated the need, Billing's told the St. Albans Messenger earlier this month.

The emergency currently has curtained treatment bays to separate patients.

“If you have someone with active COVID-19, you can’t put them in a curtained treatment bay," he said.

The expansion would eliminate such use by updating those areas to increase patient privacy and safety and to better limit the spread of infectious airborne diseases, such as COVID-19, through additional air quality controlled rooms, Billings told the newspaper.

The expansion would add six emergency department treatment stations, bringing the total to 20. About 2,400 square feet (222 square meters) would be added and and 6,800 square feet (631 square meters) of existing space would be renovated.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that the hopsital name is the Northwestern Medical Center, not the Northwest Medical Center.