The Blackman and Gollop Primary School at Staple Grove, Christ Church, was officially handed over to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital today for use as an isolation facility, as Government continues to build capacity to treat COVID-19 patients.
Senior Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arthur Phillips, said the Ministry of Health and Wellness received permission from the Ministry of Education yesterday to use the school for this purpose.
Officers of the Barbados Defence Force worked all day Saturday to clear classrooms and sanitize the building in preparation for the first patients.
Dr. Phillips disclosed that 48 beds were currently in place at the new facility. The capacity, when the building is fully outfitted, will be 126 beds.
The medical official said that the establishment of this new isolation facility would take some of the load off of the facilities at Paragon and Enmore.
He explained that Enmore was intended for patients who needed intensive care, and the new facility would allow for patients at Enmore, who did not fit into that category, to be transferred.
The Blackman and Gollop isolation facility, the Senior Medical Officer of Health revealed, would accommodate persons who were infectious but well, along with patients who might need some medical support, such as intravenous medication, antibiotics or oxygen, but did not need intensive care, including ventilation or intubation.
Dr. Phillips shared that since the primary school was built with the understanding that it would be used as a hurricane shelter, it was outfitted with adequate shower capacity as well as water tanks and a generator. Wi-Fi services are being connected for use by the patients.