Soon-to-be moms who were hoping to give birth at Fort Lauderdale's Holy Cross Health will have to find another hospital due to rising COVID-19 cases.
Holy Cross was forced to temporarily close its Labor and Delivery Unit due to a surge in coronavirus cases among staff and hospital workers.
“Due to the COVID-19 surge, Holy Cross Health has reached critical staffing levels in Labor and Delivery," Holy Cross spokesperson Christine Walker said Sunday. "In the best interest of patient safety, the Labor and Delivery unit is on diversion until further notice. The NICU and Post-Partum remain open.”
This comes as hospitals across the country are fighting, not only rapidly rising cases but also staffing shortages.
Even as they battle the latest COVID-19 surge on the front lines, other major hospitals are stepping up to help expectant mothers who are in this predicament of finding a new hospital for their delivery.
“I was notified by Holy Cross medical leadership. Over the last several days, our CEOs have been in contact with each other and we are ready, willing and able to assist them with whatever their patients need,” said Dr. Joshua Lenchus, Chief Medical Officer at Broward Health.
“We’ve been receiving a few of their patients and working closely with them to ensure that they get safe high-quality care,” said Leah Carpenter, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Memorial Healthcare System.
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Both Broward Health and Memorial Healthcare System report that they are fully equipped to lend a helping hand and accept any mothers who need care.
“We’re prepared to receive them. They will get the absolute best of care and we’ll make sure that they and their babies are discharged as quickly as we can and go home and start their new families," Carpenter said. "But we’re very comfortable managing our Covid population and making sure that our mommies are kept safe as well as the babies."
If you are an expectant mother in this situation, doctors say there are other options out there and it’s important to never delay care.
“I would say to the pregnant women in the community not to forego any medical care that you have scheduled," Dr. Lenchus said. "There are other hospitals that are out there. We have absolutely set aside competition during COVID-19. This is about caring for our community collectively."
As of now, there is no timeline on a potential re-opening date for the labor and delivery ward at Holy Cross.
Florida is seeing some of the worst infection spikes in the country. The state added more than 85,000 new COVID-19 cases this past weekend.
Hospitalizations in Florida from COVID were up to 5,299 on Monday, more than 800 more than were reported on Friday, according to the Florida Hospital Association.