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CoxHealth's COVID-19 unit is being used for the first time since it was completed three months ago.
SBJ file photo
CoxHealth's COVID-19 unit is being used for the first time since it was completed three months ago.

CoxHealth opens COVID-19 unit

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When CoxHealth announced plans for a new COVID-19 unit in March, officials with the health care system hoped it would never be used. That held true until yesterday, when the intensive care unit at Cox South opened to patients.

CoxHealth spokesperson Kaitlyn McConnell cited "rising admissions and disease prevalence" for opening the unit that's located on the fifth floor of Cox South's tower.

"This will help us accommodate more patients, and continue to meet the larger community needs for general medical and surgical care," CoxHealth President and CEO Steve Edwards said via Twitter yesterday.

Edwards this morning tweeted that 29 COVID-19 patients currently were hospitalized at Cox South. It's unclear how many are being housed in the new unit. Data provided by Edwards in the tweet show nearly 11% of 1,434 tests conducted over the past week were positive for COVID-19.

Led by J.E. Dunn Construction Co., development of the 51-bed unit was completed in early April after just two weeks. Prime Inc. issued a $700,000 donation for the project, followed by a $200,000 award from The Sunderland Foundation.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard shows 627 confirmed cases as of this morning. That’s up from 426 confirmed cases a week ago, when the Health Department reported the ninth death in Greene County from the virus.

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