North Carolina field hospital helps fight coronavirus surge


Nurse Chris Rutledge suits up in personal protective equipment before entering the patient wards of a COVID-19 field hospital, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in Lenoir, N.C. Rutledge works for Samaritan’s Purse, the international Christian relief organization which built the temporary facility to take pressure off local hospitals overwhelmed with coronavirus cases. (AP Photo/Sarah Blake Morgan)

LENOIR, N.C. (AP) — A temporary field hospital in North Carolina is easing the burden on medical facilities overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

The tents were erected earlier this month in the parking lot of Caldwell Memorial Hospital in the city of Lenoir. The 30-bed field hospital comprises four medical wards and a pharmacy for patients who have been discharged from the hospital’s intensive care unit and do not need ventilators.

Four other hospitals besides Caldwell are sending patients there so they can use their regular beds for more serious cases.

The tents and medical care givers have been provided by the international Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse, which is based in North Carolina.

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