Novant Health UVA Health System is moving some patients between its Northern Virginia hospitals to maintain capacity for the possibility of a coronavirus-related surge. 

Last week, some intensive care patients were transferred from Prince William Medical Center in Manassas to Haymarket Medical Center at the system’s expense, according to a statement provided to InsideNoVa.

“We have expanded capacity for ICU as granted by the governor’s emergency order. We are balancing capacity between both facilities very well to this point,” Stephen Smith, the president and COO of both hospitals said in the statement. “We did transfer a couple of patients from Prince William to Haymarket to maintain capacity for higher acuity patient needs at Prince William Medical Center. The patients made the choice to go to Haymarket and we incurred the expense of their transport.”

According to Susan Tulino, the system’s public relations manager, Prince William Hospital maintains available intensive care units. 

As of Sunday, Prince William County has 742 documented COVID-19 cases, according to the Virginia Department of Health. Manassas has 93 and Manassas Park has 25. 

In the Prince William Health District, which includes the county and both cities, there are 96 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, state health officials reported. There have been 16 deaths linked to the coronavirus in the health district.

Earlier this month, Novant announced that it had expanded bed capacity to respond to a possible patient surge, and the system erected triage tents outside its hospitals in Manassas, Haymarket and Culpeper.

“Our top priority is to protect the health and safety of our patients, providers, team members and communities,” Novant CEO Al Pilong said in a statement at the time of the announcement. “We’ve made several key operational changes to increase available bed space, conserve critical resources and maximize our ability to care for our communities.”

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