Jacksonville hospitals prepare for long weekend as Hurricane Matthew approaches

Because roads will flood and bridges will shut down this weekend, hospitals have scheduled staffs to stay for the coming nights.

Spokespeople at Baptist Health, St. Vincent’s and UF Health said staff will stay over at least Thursday and Friday night at the hospital.

Cindy Hamilton, spokeswoman for Baptist Health hospitals, said staff volunteered for the job, and the hospital administrations are confident that Baptist Medical Center Downtown, Baptist South and Wolfson Children’s Hospital are well-staffed. Already, Baptist hospitals at the beach and in Nassau County have been evacuated, and patients have been divvied between the downtown and south campuses.

“Everyone will be here a few nights,” she said. The hospitals are well-stocked with medicine, water, food and generators.

Baptist Downtown and Wolfson’s sit on the Southbank in Zone A, the most severe flooding zone.

“We’ll keep access open as long as we can,” Hamilton said. “That’s the plan.”

As people come for shelter to St. Vincent’s Medical Centers in Riverside, Southside and Clay County, staff will re-direct them to other shelters.

The St. Vincent’s Riverside campus sits in the Evacuation Zones A and B, the most severe flooding areas. St. Vincent’s Southside partially sits in Evacuation Zone D.

They’re also asking that patients’ families not visit at least until Hurricane Matthew rolls through so that staff have less distractions.

At Baptist, they are allowing adult patients to have one visitor, and child patients can have two.

UF Health Jacksonville is in Zone C, which has also been told to evacuate.

Memorial Hospital, St. Vincent’s Clay County and Orange Park Medical Center are not in evacuation zones.

Andrew Pantazi: (904) 359-4310


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