Salisbury University to provide COVID-19 recovery space

Salisbury University will provide space for recovering COVID-19 patients at its Dogwood Village student housing complex. (Submitted photo/Salisbury University)

SALISBURY, Md. – A Salisbury University student housing complex has been repurposed to provide space for recovering COVID-19 patients, officials announced this morning.

The university is partnering with Peninsula Regional Medical Center in a program allowing a patient to remain isolated during a recovery period of up to 14 days. There’s space for approximately 100 patients at the Dogwood Village housing complex on campus.

SU and PRMC hope to place the first patients into the Dogwood Village units later this week.

“At home, they may live in close quarters with others, would be interacting with older and at-risk adults, can’t self-quarantine or maybe have limited support while recuperating,” said Dr. Kathryn Fiddler, Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s Vice President of Population Health.

“We will provide linens, telehealth physician visits, nursing care, and home health care if necessary. These are patients who could have gone home, but just can’t because of other circumstances.”

The buildings required little conversion, according to a news release. PRMC and SU completed a deep cleaning, ensured all safety items were working, and then fine-tuned the rooms for patients. A common area was established as a staging space for staff work and where supplies could be stored.

“PRMC and SU have been tremendous partners in healthcare and education throughout the years,” said SU President Charles Wight. “We are proud to extend that partnership to help those in our area affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Dr. Fiddler said she contacted SU’s Dean of the College of Health and Human Services Dr. Kelly Fiala as the partnership and planning process began.

“We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful university and innovative community partner, from leadership to facilities and security, all collaborating in ways we could have never dreamed just two months ago,” Dr. Fiddler said.

The agreement between PRMC and SU for the use of Dogwood Village will continue through the end of June, by which time both institutions hope the region has passed its initial peak of COVID-19 cases. In July, each building will undergo deep cleaning and sanitation, and mattresses in units used by patients will be replaced in anticipation of the start of SU’s fall semester.

This agreement is the latest collaborative effort between PRMC and the University. In recent weeks, SU faculty and staff have collected, constructed and donated personal protective equipment for the medical center.

Graduating students from SU’s College of Health and Human Services also soon may join SU alumni already working at PRMC.

“We are all facing this virus together,” Mr. Wight said. “As medical researchers around the world continue working toward a vaccine, SU, PRMC and other community partners will continue working together to provide the care our community needs in these extraordinary times.”

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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