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UM Medical Center Opens New COVID-19 Care Unit


The University of Maryland Medical Center has opened a new 16-bed modular care unit for COVID-19 patients, the first of its kind in Baltimore.

The unit is an addition to the center’s 168 adult ICU beds.

Planning for the unit began in July, after the center was overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients in the spring. Dr. Gregory Schrank, co-incident commander of the center’s pandemic response, said the unit opened just in time.

“We're observing an increased demand on hospitalization across the state but we have not yet had to immediately fill up the unit. We have some time to do so in a careful fashion,” Schrank said.

Karen Doyle, who also oversees the pandemic response, said the timing will help the unit’s new staff ease into operations.

“Every day, we're preparing to increase the flow, hopefully by two patients,” she said.

The unit was created in partnership with the state of Maryland.

Sarah Y. Kim is WYPR’s health and housing reporter. Kim is WYPR's Report for America corps member, and Anthony Brandon Fellow. Kim joined WYPR as a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. Now in her second year as an RFA corps member, Kim is based in Baltimore City.