Farther south and away from the area where Irene is expected to make landfall, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Wilmington, N.C., has scheduled lockdowns at its three area hospitals for 6 p.m. ET today, according to a news release. Outpatient sites were scheduled to close at 3 p.m. ET today. All elective surgeries and procedures scheduled for Saturday have been postponed.
In nearby Bolivia, N.C., officials at Novant Brunswick Community Hospital are glad that big storms bypassed the area over the past few years while their 74-bed replacement hospital was under construction, spokeswoman Amy Myers said. The hospital opened in July. The hospital isn't imposing a lockdown, but it will lock all doors except to the emergency department at 8 p.m. tonight and has asked staff members working Friday night and Saturday to make plans to stay at the hospital if necessary, Myers said.
Sentara Healthcare, Norfok, Va., evacuated 93 residents at its Sentara Nursing Center Currituck, Barco, N.C., pursuant to an evacuation order issued by Currituck County, according to a Sentara release.
Seven of Sentara's 10 hospitals are in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia near the coast, and they are stocking up on all the necessary supplies and have opened their incident command centers to deal with Irene, said Vicky Gray, senior vice president. Volunteers are offering child-care service for nurses who need to stay at their posts, Gray said. Their home-health agencies are in the process of visiting every patient by mid-morning Saturday, Gray said.
Sentara is expecting a lot of demand for urgent care after the storm passes, so its medical group is planning how to meet that demand, depending on which of its sites have electrical power, she added.
The storm is not expected to affect the relocation of Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va., to its replacement facility on Sunday, Gray said.