Port Arthur hospital opens 3-tier COVID intake response

Published 12:15 am Thursday, January 7, 2021

Port Arthur’s largest medical facility has created a three-tier COVID reception system within its main campus to better handle a growing number of coronavirus patients, officials said.

The Medical Center of Southeast Texas is housing COVID patients and instituted a phased approach for expansion to cover the COVID population, according to Angie Hebert, director of marketing and public relations.

The expansion took place this week as a way to manage the ongoing surge experienced in Port Arthur.

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The expansion includes COVID ICU, which is the highest level of care; COVID telemetry and COVID medical.

In addition, there is an isolation area with negative pressure for those experiencing COVID symptoms, allowing non-COVID staff and patients to stay protected, Hebert said.

Officials are not planning on building any outside facilities to house patients, as has been the case in at least one other Jefferson County facility.

Additionally, Hebert said the Port Arthur hospital is not releasing the number of COVID-19 patients it is treating.

Baptist Hospital in Beaumont recently set up a 12-bed tented mobile medical unit designed to alleviate pressure on the emergency room as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to increase.

The unit will allow Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas to direct patients that need minor care and typically would spend less time in the emergency department, said Mary Poole, director of public relations for Baptist Hospital.

“Patients presenting to the emergency department will continue to be screened and routed to the appropriate location,” Poole said. “BHSET will staff the mobile unit with emergency trained physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nursing that are already part of the emergency department team. This mobile unit is not designed to care for COVID-19 patients.”

Currently there is no set date as to when the MMU will be removed.


The Medical Center received its first COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines in mid-December.

Hebert said the hospital received 975 doses and on Monday began administering the second round of the vaccine to employees.

As the release of the vaccines is government-controlled, Hebert does not know when more vaccines will be released.

“We are following every measure outline by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices), and we will continue to support all efforts that lead to the end of this pandemic, and maintain quality, compassionate care in all that we do,” Medical Center CEO Dr. Gary Mennie previously said.

For more information, read https://www.panews.com/2021/01/06/wednesdays-local-covid-snapshot-drastic-spike-in-mid-county-record-ventilator-utilization/

For more information, read https://www.panews.com/2021/01/06/wednesdays-local-covid-snapshot-drastic-spike-in-mid-county-record-ventilator-utilization/