The May Pen Hospital in Clarendon is gearing up for an increase in hospitalisations amid the latest surge in COVID-19 cases.
The parish accounted for 40 of the record 1,593 new cases reported yesterday, bringing Clarendon's overall case count to 5,141, and the country's tally to 101,056, since March 2020.
May Pen Hospital's senior medical officer, Dr Bradley Edwards, says the facility's 40-bed field hospital, constructed in September, has not been in use, but it is likely to become occupied this week.
"We will be channelling our positive patients to the isolation ward. The isolation ward currently can accommodate up to 20 patients, and if there's no one on a ventilator we can go up to 24," explained Edwards.
He added that there are other rooms on the main ward, and areas reserved to house positive patients.
However, the hospital is also grappling with a lack of staff. Edwards told The Gleaner that several staff members have been absent due to a "flu-like" illness.
"We're not sure whether it is COVID or not, so we have to wait on the results to confirm. So some of our staff members are off and have been going off just as a precautionary measure, but hopefully, they will recover quickly because most of them have been vaccinated," said Edwards.