Local leaders plan for more cases, hospital surges


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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County now has nearly 400 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, and those on the front lines of planning and defense against the virus are trying to stay ahead.

With a growing number of cases, the need for personal protective equipment, additional hospital space and medical professionals grows, too. Dr. Earl Stoddard and Dr. Travis Gayles briefed Montgomery County leaders remotely Tuesday morning.

“We’ve approached local vendors about production of equipment and supplies that we could utilize as this event expands and becomes much worse. We are engaged with businesses in Maryland to do things like produce masks and see what the can produce for us, how much and how often,” said Dr. Stoddard.

Dr. Stoddard says local distilleries have been able to produce 300 gallons of hand sanitizer a week for those who need it most. The possibility of a surge in cases and hospitalizations has officials re-imagining the use of local facilities and resources.

“We’re looking at the blueprints of current hospitals to see how they can be reconfigured to maximize their current setting in terms of current bed space and shifting medical surge bed space to provide intensive or critical care services if we need,” Dr. Gayles said.

Dr. Stoddard says there’s not currently a surge in Montgomery County hospitals, but they’re actively preparing for when a surge may occur by requesting additional beds and soliciting more volunteer medical professionals.

“The Medical Reserve Corps is up to 1,700 active registrants in Montgomery County. There are another 101 being vetted and credentialed through the state’s credentialing system,” said Dr. Stoddard.

The county hopes to add as many registrants possible, as soon as possible.

To donate to resources and equipment to the county, email: Donations@montgomerycountymd.gov

For assistance in selling resources and equipment to the county, email: Procurement@montgomerycountymd.gov

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