Carney Hospital in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood will become the nation’s first “dedicated care center” for treating patients who test positive for the new coronavirus, according to Steward Health Care.
The conversion will include the creation of negative pressure patient wards, enhanced patient isolation protocols and the addition of specialty equipment needed to treat some of the disease caused by the new coronavirus, COVID-19 — including an increased supply of ventilators and personal protective equipment, according to a statement from the company.
Carney is one of 35 hospitals operated by Steward Health Care. Steward is preparing to create similar designated care centers in the other communities it serves in nine states on an as-needed basis, according to the company.
"By locating COVID-19 patients in a focused environment, Steward can better dedicate the necessary resources, equipment and expertise to provide COVID-19 patients focused care and the very best opportunity for a full recovery," the company wrote in a statement.
Carney has 159 beds and more than 400 physicians right now, according to the hospital.
"This measure keeps Steward's Emergency Rooms and other hospitals in Massachusetts fully operational, allowing us to continue caring for other patients who are sick, who are mid-course in treatments, who are in chronic pain and who need high-quality care," the company wrote.
Steward Heath Care has treated 10 patients nationwide for coronavirus, according to the company. Steward says it plans to open remote testing sites in Massachusetts this week.
Steward will continue scheduled treatments and procedures, at the discretion of surgeons and physicians, according to the company.