Sharon Field Hospital Provides Extra COVID-19 Relief


Cynthia Hochswender | The Lakeville Journal

Members of the Connecticut militia set up a temporary field hospital in the Sharon Hospital parking lot for recovering COVID-19 patients this past Friday.

With COVID-19 still spreading rapidly worldwide, hospitals have been looking for innovative ways to find room for infected patients to recover. 

On April 10, members of the Connecticut militia came to Sharon Hospital, owned by Health Quest/Nuvance Health, in Sharon, Connecticut to set up a temporary field hospital in the parking lot for recovering COVID-19 patients. The field hospital is equipped with 25 beds and has running electricity, heat, and hot and cold running water.

Although field hospitals are traditionally used by the military, these inflatable structures have been used as forms of natural disaster relief in the past. The new field hospital in Sharon is one of the dozens plotted around the country and one of two in Connecticut. The other field hospital being the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, which has 646 beds. There are two more sites in Norwalk and Danbury, CT being prepared for field hospitals. 

During an address on Facebook, Maria Horn P ’18 ’19 and Connecticut state representative emphasized the importance of ensuring that the state is prepared in the case of a sudden influx of COVID-19 cases. Senior healthcare workers in Connecticut predict that the state is about two weeks behind New York in terms of a peak in cases. Representative Horn said, “[Sharon] do[es] not need the capacity, but are trying to stay ahead of the game. Creating this [field hospital] brings resources into our community that we can later use to address the pandemic.”

Currently, the seven hospitals in New York and Connecticut that make up the Health Quest/Nuvance Health network are dividing patients between them. In the past month, critically ill COVID-19 patients in Sharon have been transferred to the New York hospitals, which are better equipped to deal with more severe cases. Recovering patients have then been sent back to Sharon Hospital from the other locations. 

In an interview with TriCornerNews, Dr. Mark Hirko, head of Sharon Hospital, discussed overarching plans for the field hospitals and limiting the spread. He noted that patients who are recovering from COVID-19 at nearby hospitals will be moved to the new facility in Sharon. He said, “[Patients] get extubated but they are not healthy enough to go home. The larger hospitals are now starting to fill up with patients who don’t need the high-end care anymore; they now need a place to convalesce. So some of those patients are coming to our facility now.”

The field hospital in Sharon hopes to be able to shoulder some responsibility from large hospitals in New York and other parts of Connecticut as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase.