Four coronavirus patients being transported to Spokane’s Sacred Heart for treatment

Editor’s Note: The above video shows images from Sacred Heart’s pathogen unit during Ebola training in 2017. Patients with coronavirus are not treated in the isopod or by full-suited caregivers. 

SPOKANE, Wash. — Four patients who have tested positive for coronavirus are being transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center for treatment, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said on Wednesday. 

Providence will work with the CDC and other departments to care for the patients while they are under isolation. 

In a release, HHS said Providence is one of 10 hospitals in the country with secured airborne infection isolation rooms. For that reason, the hospital was chosen to take the patients. 

The 14,000 square foot unit contains 12 patient rooms, including two critical care rooms. When used for the most acute care circumstances, the unit can care for up to ten patients.

READ: Sacred Heart prepares for potential infectious disease threats

There is no estimated time for when the patients will arrive, but the health district said they’re expected to come within the next 1-2 days. 

“We are coordinating with local partners to safely transport these patients to Sacred Heart,” said Dr. Bob Lutz, a health officer with the Spokane Regional Health District. 

“This is all being done following our jointly developed infectious disease protocols that we train and prepare for,” Lutz added. “The risk to the public from this novel coronavirus remains low.” 

According to the CDC, there are currently 15 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, one-third of which will soon be in Spokane.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that four patients are being transported to Sacred Heart. Health officials initially said five, but lowered that number to four.