Exclusive look inside Waterbury’s first overflow medical ward to deal with coronavirus patients

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Normally inside the gym at the Chase Park House recreation center, you’d see kids playing basketball.

But now, with the coronavirus, things are not normal. Instead, the gym has been transformed into Waterbury’s first overflow medical ward.

Fifty cots are now lined up on the court to be used by patients who may need help in case the number of coronavirus patients is too much to handle inside the hospitals.

“It’s better to be prepared than not be prepared,” said Adam Rinko, Waterbury’s Director of Emergency Management. “We hope we don’t have to use this and the hospitals have done an excellent job in planning for their surge. They’ve converted rooms to be negative pressure rooms. They’re daily monitoring. They’ve shifted operations from other parts of the hospital to allow more bed space. So, we have a ‘boots on the ground’ effort at both hospitals that is absolutely working to free up space and staff, but this will be here in the event that that is not enough.”

Rinko said both hospitals have been working with the city planning this January.

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