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Baptist South opens COVID Care Expansion Unit amid increase in patients

Health officials say more than 97% of all COVID inpatients have not been vaccinated.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As the number of COVID-19 patients increases in hospitals across the First Coast, Baptist Medical Center South has turned its heating, ventilation and air conditioning space into a COVID care patient unit.

On Thursday,  Baptist South opened 20 additional beds in the Care Expansion Unit. 

The hospital says the need for additional beds was anticipated by its Epidemic Response Plan.

The plan allows healthcare workers to prepare for predicted surges in patient volumes. 

"This unit provides continuity of care from a dedicated team with expertise in caring for COVID patients," Baptist Health said in a statement.

All suspected or confirmed COVID patients in Baptist Health hospitals are isolated from other patients. Health officials say more than 97% of all COVID inpatients have not been vaccinated.